(Los Angeles, CA) – The Los Angeles City Council today unanimously approved a resolution introduced by Councilmember Richard Alarcón that includes support for Medicare and Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California) in the City of Los Angeles’ 2011-12 Federal Legislative Program. The City of Los Angeles is the first big city in America to join a growing movement of municipalities, healthcare providers, healthcare workers and patients in support of Medicare and Medi-Cal. Both programs are facing possible budget cuts as the Congressional “super committee” prepares to release its plan reduce the United States’ debt by $1.5 trillion in the next 10 years.
“Cuts to Medicare or Medi-Cal would be devastating to the middle class in America,” said Councilmember Alarcón. “If Congress heartlessly takes away the healthcare services that millions of senior citizens, parents, friends and family members in California depend on, the responsibility and cost of caring for those family members will fall to people already suffering through tough economic times. Not only do millions of people directly rely on these services, but the healthcare industry is also a major part of California’s economy and cutting Medicare and Medi-Cal would kill middle class jobs in our state. Make no mistake; any cuts to Medicare or Medi-Cal by Congress would be an assault on senior citizens, jobs and middle class values.”
Medicare and Medi-Cal provide more than half of the funding for both hospital care (51%), as well as nursing home care (80%) in California and the programs are crucial components of California’s economy, with more than 1 of every 10 jobs in California in the healthcare sector.
“Healthcare affects every single person in Los Angeles,” said Dave Regan, President of Service Employees International Union – United Health Care Workers West. “Billions of dollars is at stake – that funds Medicare and Medi-cal and supports the elderly, people living with disabilities and children plus a majority of hospitals in California. We implore congress to protect healthcare.”
“I support the city council’s resolution to oppose further cuts to Medicare and Medi-Cal funding because hardworking families need to focus on living their lives rather than crumbling under the stress of poor access and economic coverage of essential healthcare services,” said Tracy McGlory, a medical records tech and SEIU-UHW member at Kaiser West Los Angeles. “After everyday Americans have put so much blood, sweat and tears into this country, they should be able to expect basic support when they are most vulnerable.”
ABOUT SEIU-UHW: Service Employees International Union—United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest-growing union.
ABOUT ST. JOHN’S WELL CHILD AND FAMILY CENTER: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center provides medical, dental, mental health services, case management, health education and social support to more than 100,000 patient visits in south Los Angeles. It operates eleven sites – including five comprehensive community health centers and six school based clinics spanning the breadth of downtown and south central Los Angeles and Compton.