You Spoke, They Listened

March 26, 2017

By Staff

On March 25, more than 350 people joined U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and local elected officials at an Emergency Town Hall in Berkeley to stand up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. With Republican plans to dismantle the ACA and decimate Medicaid on the table in Washington DC, advocates packed the Ed Roberts Campus to speak up for affordable health care for all. The event was co-sponsored by Children's Defense Fund-California, Health Access and a coalition of health advocacy organization.

We were excited to have Natasha Jacob speak – she brought the children's voice to the event by discussing the positive impact of that Covered California and Medi-Cal had on her family, by allowing the family to keep their health coverage even after her husband lost his job. Natasha was able to make the connection between health and education. She is also a part-time kindergarten teacher and many her students are enrolled in Medi-Cal. She is featured in an article in the East Bay Times.

Janis Lambert Connallon, health policy associate at CDF-CA, opened up the event by welcoming attendees. Dr. Melissa Chubbuck, internal medicine resident Highland Hospital, highlighted the ACA and Medicaid lead to more primary care visits and fewer emergency room visits, which is a better way to provide care. Then, a panel of elected officials shared their insight on policy opportunities to protect health care, and answered questions from the audience. State Senator Nancy Skinner and Assemblymembers Tony Thurmond and Rob Bonta all committed to fight in California to preserve Medi-Cal and health care for children and families. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan highlighted the local impact of the ACA.

The event also featured a local award-winning middle school a cappella choir from Oakland School for the Arts that brought the crowd to its feet with opening and closing numbers.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the event, or on social media as we do our part to stop the "repeal and destroy" bill in Congress.

Also, make sure you check out some of the media coverage of the event: