Paving the Road to a Healthy California for All

Healthcare Photo

SEIU members are attacking skyrocketing healthcare prices so we can achieve universal care and protect workers’ pocketbooks

SEIU Members Feel the Impact of Skyrocketing Healthcare Prices on our Patients & Our Pocketbooks

When we gather together in our local unions, three concerns consistently come up: wages, housing, and healthcare. In a recent statement, SEIU Local 1021 and SEIU California President Roxanne Sanchez explained why our union is aggressively confronting healthcare corporations over unjustified prices this year:

“SEIU California is fighting for new and expanded healthcare prices and quality transparency….we know families can’t keep stretching their paychecks to cover unjustified insurance costs and our state won’t achieve our vision for universal, accessible, affordable and equitable care until we tackle unjustified skyrocketing health care prices.”

Many of us work in the healthcare system and see how corporations are pricing our patients out of care. SEIU members who work in the public and private sectors feel the pinch as health premiums eat into our wages. We know we can’t wait any longer to start tackling rising prices and reigning in unaccountable corporations.

The Work We’ve Done

Our push this year builds on the ground-shifting work we’ve done to expand healthcare to more Californians while at the same time working to make care more affordable and accountable. We have enrolled thousands in Covered California and expanded Medi-Cal to include struggling workers, families and undocumented youth. As a result, more than 93% of Californians now have health coverage. Meanwhile, we continue to make gains in quality of care — for example, fighting to increase nurse staffing ratios at hospitals.

The Opportunity to Restore the California Dream on Healthcare

Being healthy is essential to the California Dream, but out-of-control healthcare costs are crushing opportunities for Californians and our families. Holding corporations accountable for fair healthcare prices means protecting workers’ paychecks at a time when so many are worried about rising costs.

Even as we continue pushing alongside community partners to bring the number of Californians with access to care to 100%, we are also building momentum to crack down on price gouging by healthcare corporations.

The good news is that we’ve elected a Governor in Gavin Newsom who shares our commitment to healthcare that is accessible and affordable. The Governor has already put the pharmaceutical industry on notice that California will demand price fairness for prescription drugs, and use the state’s bargaining power to negotiate better deals to benefit public and private sector workers.

Next Steps

There will be LOTS of opportunities to get involved in a healthy California that works for all. Through lobby days and rallies, to providing your expertise as a front line worker in the fight and sharing your story — we will be able to restore a healthy California.

Member Story: Morgan, Security Officer

This work to build a quality, affordable, universal healthcare system matters to union members across industries including security officer, Morgan McCormick:

Right now, with her current company, Morgan has healthcare coverage, but it’s expensive.

“With my medical condition, I end up paying about $600 per month out of pocket,” she says. “I don’t know many security officers who can afford that. I can’t, but I have to pay it to take care of myself.”

She’s been without coverage before, and it took a big toll on her health.

“When a new company took over my site, I lost my health insurance for a bit. To keep my condition in check, I had to go on pills that weren’t right for me, but they were all I could afford. I ended up in Urgent Care in a lot of pain and I might have done permanent damage to my kidneys. I just think these companies should offer affordable insurance,” she says.

It is because of these hardships that Morgan is joining together with hundreds of her fellow security officers to form a union in San Diego.

Morgan McCormick
Security Officer
SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW) Member
San Diego, CA

This is an excerpt from the Stand with Security Blog.

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