Presidents Message - Winter 2013
In California, we are moving forward with implementation of the Affordable Care Act at a rapid pace. With more individuals choosing coverage through Covered California by the day, and safety net providers testing and implementing new approaches to care delivery, we should all be proud of what we have achieved and what we stand poised to accomplish.
Over the past year, the Foundation has focused on laying important groundwork for the future. This means making investments in critical projects like California’s Low Income Health Program. Because of our grantmaking and support for this program at the state and county levels, nearly 700,000 individuals – representing some of the state’s most vulnerable – now have healthcare coverage. Take Lupe, for example, whom I introduced earlier this year. As of 2012, she was a middle-aged woman with uncontrolled diabetes, who had never had health insurance. This year, through her county’s Low Income Health Program she was able to connect with a provider and finally get the care she needs. She and hundreds of thousands of previously-uninsured Californians will be automatically enrolled in Medi-Cal on January 1. For us, this is a great accomplishment; for them, it will be a very happy New Year!
We are making a real difference for real Californians. A heartfelt congratulations is in order for everyone involved. Yet, as we celebrate, we should also be humbled. It has taken decades to bring our healthcare system to where it is today, and it will take many more years and our unwavering commitment to make the Affordable Care Act a lasting success in California. The choices we make going forward will ultimately determine whether or not our children grow up in a state where high-quality affordable healthcare is a guarantee, not a luxury.
On the verge of this historic moment, I am confident that we’re on the right track to succeed in 2014 and beyond. I look forward to seeing the tangible outcomes of our investments, like we’ve seen with Lupe, and hope that her success story will be manifested thousands-of-times over across our state. Though the journey will not be easy, we are fully prepared to embark on the next chapter of our work to ensure access to care for all Californians.
Wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season.
Peter V. Long, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Blue Shield of California Foundation