April 15, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
Health care remains a top priority for the California Senate Democratic Caucus and will undoubtedly be a major driver in the state’s continuously recovering economy, according to Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
De León was the keynote speaker at the California Medical Association’s (CMA) Legislative Advocacy Day on April 14, where he spoke to an audience of more than 400 physicians, medical students and CMA Alliance members from around the state. He touched on a variety of topics during his address, including the role of health care in a post-recession economy.
“We need to make sure that all individuals in the state of California have an opportunity to participate in this economic resurgence,” he said, adding, “we’re in the middle of one of the most transformative eras in the history of medical health care in the United States. How we do this and how we do this right is going to speak volumes with regards to the economy and also to delivering quality health care to all individuals.”
De León highlighted five crucial components of California, or “E’s” that help define the state: economy, education, energy/environment, equity and exceptionality.
On the topic of education, de León spoke about the need to provide better access to a college education, as well as the state’s shortage of physicians — particularly in areas hit hardest by the economic recession.
“We must continue to invest, and incentivize, the young men and women who enter medical school and want to practice in these areas throughout the state of California,” he said.
De León later acknowledged Senator Richard Pan, M.D., a CMA member who authored a highly debated vaccine bill (SB 277) currently in the legislature, saying it takes “courage to stand up for science and the long-term health of our communities in the face of the threats and misinformation.”
He also thanked the health care advocates in the crowd for keeping California healthy and strong.
“We know that we are in a very transformative era in America, with regards to delivering health care. It’s not just because we understand that a healthier California is much more prosperous and productive. But it’s also because we want to ensure health care remains one of California’s fastest-growing economic sectors.”