The Advocate

Update from the Director of Government Affairs

I was recently at a health center board retreat providing a political and policy update. At the end of the presentation, one of the board members asked if there was anything good happening or anything to be hopeful about. I was not surprised by the question, because I’m guessing most of us are wondering that on a daily basis.

My answer back was a confident- “Absolutely!” Here’s why….


Since President Trump’s inauguration, we’ve fought – and won – multiple Affordable Care Act repeal attempts, Obamacare remains the “law of the land and the courts have delayed President Trump’s Travel Ban. Even with all of these victories, health centers are still being threatened and our fight to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality care continues.


State Update

This year was not a typical year.  The results of the 2016 elections brought new fervor to the work in California. In Sacramento, the state legislature, united in a shared commitment, best epitomized in the words of California’s Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D- Paramount) :

“California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future.”

- Joint Statement, November, 2016



Last November, we knew that the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a top priority for President Trump and the GOP. One year later, we continue to fight for access and coverage for our patients. From July 2017 to October 2017, collective grassroots advocacy successfully defeated three ACA repeal legislation attacks.

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Community Health Center Tours

In an effort to continue building political capital and educate legislators on the excellent work of community health centers, we continue to work with our consortia and health center partners to facilitate and arrange legislative health center tours.


CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Political Action Committee

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is excited to announce that during the October CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Board of Directors meeting the board voted unanimously to authorize the creation of a Political Action Committee (PAC) and pursue candidate endorsements for State Assembly and State Senate races.



Given the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been perpetuated by the current administration, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates has taken a leadership role around health care for our immigrant patients. Our members have also expressed concerns about federal immigration policy, which has resulted in a significant increase in state activity and necessitated extensive CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates involvement on the issue. 



On November 16, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates along with representatives from Children Now and Health Access hosted a press conference at the State Capitol to call on Congress to reauthorize critical funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates President and CEO, Carmela Castellano-Garcia gave opening remarks and highlighted the need for both programs as they are both necessary to ensure coverage and access in California’s health system.