IN THE LOOP

The news you need to know this week

Welcome to the latest edition of our update on the news you need to know and how it affects you and the communities we serve. Every couple of weeks we send out an e-mail featuring important updates, and you can sign up below! As always, thank you for your support of APLA Health, and please share this with others who may be interested.

11/09/17

Call California’s Republican Representatives: Tell them their tax package isn’t on your Christmas list!

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Republicans in Congress are now working on a tax cut proposal that will add $1.7 trillion to the federal deficit and give corporations and the rich a massive tax break. There’s precious little in this plan for the little guy; by some estimates 80 percent of the cuts go to the upper 1 percent and paying for the tax cuts will require slashing health care and other domestic programs, including Medicaid and Medicare.

The tax bill is particularly punishing for Californians. It ends taxpayer deductions for state and local taxes—and will hit middle- and upper-income taxpayers hard. Republicans may also use the tax bill to end the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That would give them another $338 billion to pay for the tax cuts and would be another step in their attempts to repeal the ACA.

The reason we are asking you to call only California’s Republican congress members is that they have cut the Democrats out of the process. They want to pass the tax cuts with a simple majority vote, just as they tried to do with the ACA. So we need to let them know that this ill-conceived tax plan will come back to haunt them in the mid-term elections next year.

Call these offices now, even if you are not in their districts. Here is the script:

“Congressmember—Americans need bi-partisan, equitable tax reform, not a scheme to reward the rich that will add to the federal deficit and require steep cuts in health care and domestic programs. California’s representatives should not vote for a tax bill that will end state and local tax deductions, along with deductions for medical expenses and student loans. You need to work with the Democrats to come up with a better plan.”

President Trump wants to sign a tax package by Christmas. Let these offices know these tax cuts are not on your wish list. Offices with asterisks, below, are in vulnerable districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Call them first…

Rep. Jeff Denham* (Turlock) – 202-225-4540
Rep. Darrell Issa* (Vista) – 202-225-3906
Rep. Steve Knight* (Palmdale) – 202-225-1956
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher* (Costa Mesa) – 202-225-2415
Rep. Ed Royce* (Fullerton) – 202-225-4111
Rep. David Valadao* (Hanford) – 202-225-4695
Rep. Mimi Walters* (Irvine) – 202-225-5611
Rep. Ken Calvert (Corona) – 202-225-1986
Rep. Paul Cook (Yucca Valley) – 202-225-5861
Rep. Duncan Hunter (Alpine) – 202-225-5672
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (Richvale) – 202-225-3076
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Bakersfield) – 202-225-2915
Rep. Tom McClintock (Elk Grove) – 202-225-2511
Rep. Devin Nunes (Tulare) – 202-225-2523

Covered California Open Enrollment Started November 1st

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Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace where qualified residents of California can purchase affordable health insurance. While open enrollment will be shorter in some states, Covered California will have a full open enrollment period from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018.

Given recent events in Washington DC, you may have questions about how actions taken by President Trump and Congress will impact your health coverage. If you qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, you should not see any changes in your coverage due to recent federal actions. If you purchase insurance through Covered California, there will be some changes in coverage that you need to know about. The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, which includes APLA Health, has released a set of common questions and answers to help you better understand your coverage through Covered California. This guide is designed specifically to help people living with HIV and hepatitis C and people considering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). You can read the full guide here.

There are numerous other resources available to assist consumers with questions. Please contact one of APLA Health’s enrollment specialists for assistance:

Alba Escobar at the Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills
323.329.9926 or aescobar@apla.org

Jennifer Miranda at the Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills
323.329.9912 or jmiranda@apla.org

Davon Crenshaw at the Long Beach Health Center
562.247.7752 or dcrenshaw@apla.org

If you are living with HIV, you can access benefits help at
The David Geffen Center in Mid-City
213.201.1615

Help is available in English and Spanish.

Los Angeles County Health Agency Unveils New Center for Health Equity

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Last month the Los Angeles County Health Agency launched the Center for Health Equity, which aims to ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities and resources needed for optimal health and well-being. The Center will address racial, social, and environmental justice issues for all Los Angeles County residents. Its initial phase will focus on five key initiatives including:

  1. Closing the gap in infant mortality given higher rates of poor birth outcomes for African American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian babies;
  2. Closing the gap in sexually transmitted infections given disproportionally high rates among men of color, LGBTQ individuals, and African American women;
  3. Reducing disproportionate exposures to environmental toxins given the high burden of environmental hazards in communities of color and lower-income communities;
  4. Improving fragmented and episodic care for residents with complex health issues by linking population-based approaches with comprehensive service delivery models;
  5. Ensuring cultural and linguistic competency throughout the health agency.

Advancing health equity is critical for optimal community health outcomes and longevity. We commend the Health Agency for its commitment to working with community partners and Los Angeles residents to support policies and programs that improve the health of all Angelenos and lead to greater health equity.

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