The California Health Care Foundation is an independent, nonprofit philanthropy that works to improve the health care system so that all Californians have the care they need. We focus especially on making sure the system works for Californians with low incomes and for communities who have traditionally faced the greatest barriers to care. We partner with leaders across the health care safety net to ensure they have the data and resources to make care more just and to drive improvement in a complex system.At the California Health Care Foundation, we know that health care is a basic necessity. We work hard to improve California’s health care system so all Californians can get the care they need. One out of three Californians lives in or near poverty. Because this group faces the biggest health burden and the greatest barriers to care, our priority is to make sure they have access to high-quality care. We recognize the historical and continued oppression experienced by Black, Latino/x, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous people, and other racial and ethnic groups. That is why we also work to create a health care system that is designed to redress, and not perpetuate, the inequities that too many of our fellow Californians face. The best opportunity California has to advance those goals is to strengthen Medi-Cal — the cornerstone of California’s safety net. We are especially focused on strengthening Medi-Cal in the following ways:
- Get everyone covered. Right now, three million Californians lack basic health coverage. We need to finish the job and make sure everyone, regardless of income or immigration status, has the opportunity for health that insurance provides. One important part of the solution is to ensure that all Californians who are eligible for Medi-Cal are enrolled in the program.
- Strengthen and diversify the health workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a stark reminder of the vital importance of California’s health care workforce. It also underscored the imperative of solving ongoing shortages of critical health professionals and ensuring that our workforce has the cultural and language competencies needed to serve California’s diverse population.
- Deliver care better. There are steps California can take right now to increase access and improve the way care is delivered to people with complex health needs, like those experiencing homelessness or serious mental illness. Those steps include modernizing how care is paid for and delivered to allow for more of a “whole-person” approach to care.
- Make care just. There is an urgent need to remove the structural barriers that prevent people of color from getting the care they need. CHCF is working to document inequities in the health care system, hold system leaders accountable, and transform care to uphold the dignity that each Californian deserves.