February is American Heart Month, and this year February 4th was National Wear Red Day, encouraging people to wear red to help raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases.
Last week, Assembly Bill 1400 (AB 1400), establishing state-run healthcare for all Californians, crashed and burned in the Assembly. Opposition was widespread from all sectors of the healthcare field and citizens.
The national blood shortage has reached our region, and the situation is critical for many local hospitals. While January has been designated National Blood Donor Month for over 50 years, people have not been stepping up to donate blood and maintain badly needed supplies as they have in the past.
Mobs of people have been raiding department stores and walking out with thousands of dollars in stolen goods. In some cases, up to 90 people have stormed into stores at one time, and thefts have not been confined to department stores. Union-Pacific freight trains entering Los Angeles are being systematically looted. In October 2021, the railroad reported a 356% increase in thefts over the previous year.
Last week the Assembly Health Committee reviewed, and passed, AB 1400, which would mandate government-run healthcare for almost 40 million Californians. Are you on Medicare?  You won’t be. Do you like your current health plan?  Say goodbye to it. Do you want to pay higher taxes, for less care? You’re in luck.
One of the main responsibilities of the State Legislature is producing a budget by the June 15th  constitutional deadline that funds programs and, hopefully, makes smart investments in California’s future. Unfortunately, while we meet the deadline, expectations often fall short.  Skewed priorities in past budgets have allowed problems to fester; many are now reaching the crisis stage. The Legislature re-convened for the second half of the 2021-2022 session January 3rd.
Helping people navigate the state’s massive bureaucracy is an important function of my District Office (DO). During 2021, we were able to help over 2,400 constituents resolve issues involving state and other governmental agencies.
During 2021, 2,776 bills were introduced in Sacramento, despite a suggested 12-bill limit for each Assemblymember. The legislation we reviewed involved some of the most consequential issues facing California.
According to the CDC, over 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in the 12 months ending in April, 2021. That’s a new record, exceeding the previous record of 93,331 in 2020. That is not acceptable.  Much of this increase is driven by fentanyl, a drug similar to morphine, but 50 to 100 times more potent.
I recently spoke at the Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference in San Diego. The daylong discussions covered a wide range of health care initiatives and policies that impact all Californians.