25 Apr Claiming the Victory of Obamacare in South LA
By Saúl Sarabia
Over seven million people across the U.S. have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Community Coalition has contributed to this milestone, the biggest expansion of health care in the United States in fifty years, through the “Let’s Get Healthy South L.A.” campaign.
“South L.A. has the highest rate of uninsured people in Los Angeles County,” says Carlos León, a Community Coalition staff member working on the campaign.
The goal of this program is to enroll as many people in health insurance as possible by working with five partner organizations that can reach thousands of people in our communities.
“Too many of our neighbors, co-workers and family members do not even know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they can get health insurance for free or at a low cost,” adds León.
“Let’s Get Healthy South L.A.” is a powerful coalition of partners, including community-based organizations, community health centers and labor unions, working to ensure that every resident in South L.A. gets health care under the new law.
This includes reaching people who are often pushed to the shadows of our society by discrimination and lack of information, such as formerly incarcerated people and immigrants without papers.
“Many people do not know that Obamacare increased funding to community health clinics that serve everyone in our community, regardless of their ability to pay or their legal status,” says León.
“All of our partners are reaching out to their members as well as organizing health and wellness events to spread the word about the many benefits under this transformative law,” says Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, vice president of organizational growth at Community Coalition.
These partner organizations include Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Brotherhood Crusade, Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West, Southside Coalition of Community Health Centers and St. John’s Well Child & Family Center.
With one week left before the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance, more than 800,000 people in California have enrolled in Obamacare, including many South L.A. residents reached by “Let’s Get Healthy South L.A.”
Using their expertise in community outreach and a user-friendly website, www.healthysouthla.org, this alliance is making history.
“Although March 31 was the deadline for people to enroll in a private health insurance plan under Obamacare, we will continue to identify people who qualify for Medi-Cal after that date,” says León. “Those people who do not qualify for Medi-Cal will be able to enroll in private insurance again in October.”
León adds, “If you need help getting health coverage, you can call at (323) 629–4298.”
Saúl Sarabia is a contributor to this issue of the Movement.
Caption: Community Coalition staff spread the word to enroll South LA residents in free and low cost health insurance, contributing to the historic enrollment of 7 million Americans in Obamacare.