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.
Call Your Senators and Representatives Today!
Tell Them Health Center Funding Must Be Extended NOW!
Congress is scrambling to pass a short term funding bill by Friday to keep the federal government operating. Meanwhile, funding must also be extended for a number of critical healthcare programs including the nation’s community health centers.
Last week the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would get extended along with the short term funding. But funding for community health centers would be left out.
We need your help! Please call your senators and representatives and tell them funding for both community health centers and CHIP should be included in this week’s short term funding measure or in a stand-alone bill.
The community health center funding will provide $3.6 billion over five years. This accounts for 70 percent of the funding for community clinics across the nation. These clinics provide primary care, dental care and behavioral health services for millions of low-income individuals. This includes APLA Health’s three clinics: Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills, the Long Beach Health Center, and our newest clinic, Global Healthcare/APLA Health in the Miracle Mile. These clinics provide a full range of services for all low-income individuals, including the LGBT community.
If health center funding is not extended, clinics nationwide will start closing their doors, cutting services and denying access to individuals who have no alternative.
Call your senators and representatives TODAY and tell them both health center and CHIP funding must be extended this week. Here’s a suggested script:
“I’m calling to tell my representative that CHIP and community health center funding need to be extended now. Community health centers are safety net providers for low-income individuals across the nation. They provide a full range of medical care and treatment for free or at very low cost. Patients who get their care at community health centers have no other options if these clinics close their doors. Extend health center funding for at least five years and please, do it NOW!”
The Advocacy Hotline is toll free and connects you to your senators and your representatives:
Governor Brown’s Final Budget—the Ups and Downs
Last week Governor Brown released his proposed 2018-19 state budget—his 16th and final budget before a new governor takes over next year. The nearly $132 billion budget plan adds billions of dollars to the state’s “rainy day” fund and maintains a strong commitment to the Affordable Care Act. The budget also makes critical investments in transportation and education, including the creation of the first wholly online community college in California.
Despite these positive developments, Brown has proposed reconfiguring a critical program, known as 340B, that allows community health centers to pay lower prices for prescription drugs and expand services for their patients. Brown’s proposal would prevent community health centers from using the program in Medi-Cal, making it more difficult for APLA Health and other providers to sustain the broad range of care, treatment and services they provide to their patients.
The release of the proposed budget sets off a six-month budget process in Sacramento. Budget committees in the legislature will now meet to develop their own proposals and enter into a negotiation with the Governor. During this time, APLA Health will be advocating for additional investments to cover the remaining uninsured and improve affordability for low- and middle-income Californians. We will also be advocating for additional funding to expand and improve HIV testing, increase awareness and uptake of PrEP and increase support services for people living with HIV.
APLA Health Staff Highlighted in HIV Plus Magazine
The most recent issue of HIV Plus Magazine profiles the “20 Most Amazing HIV Positive People of 2018”. Included are APLA Health staff Dontá Morrison (#13) and Steven Campa (#20). Dontá works in the Prevention Department as the Program Manager of Youth Programs and oversees sexual health and wellness programming for young gay and bisexual men of color. Steven also works in the Prevention Department as a Prevention Training Specialist for Youth Programs where he provides an array of sexual health and wellness services to young, gay and bisexual men. We are thrilled to have our dedicated and passionate staff at APLA Health recognized for their hard work! You can read the full article here.
Remember to get tested every 3-6 months. APLA Health offers free and confidential HIV and STD testing and treatment at our Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills and at our Long Beach Health Center. Walk-ins are welcome!
Stay in the loop!
We will send you regular updates on issues and policies affecting the LGBT and/or HIV communities and urge you to call or e-mail your representatives about key political activity at the local, state, and federal levels.