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health care

Sonoma County child care advocates eye new local sales tax measure

in Health
Teacher Alondra Ortega, second from right, comforts Leonardo Ramirez, 4, while the other students seek safety on a table while playing Òhot lavaÓ at the North Bay ChildrenÕs Center in Healdsburg on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (Photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat

Years of wildfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic have raised the obstacles facing Sonoma County’s dwindling child care providers, but a new political coalition is aiming to boost the shorthanded network via a new tax measure.

Our Kids Our Future, a Santa Rosa-based campaign that formed in July 2021, is leading a push to put a quarter-cent, countywide sales tax on the ballot in November.

Revenue from the tax, which the group projects to be $22 million annually, will go towards easing access to child care and child health care, both critical issues well before the pandemic.

“The need is pretty universal, it doesn’t matter if you have kids or not,” said Ananda Sweet, Our Kids Our Future’s board president. “Even if you can afford child care, child care is still really hard to find, there’s an access issue.”

The county has 490 operating child care facilities, down 21% from before the pandemic. It has lost 52% of available child care slots, however, since March 2020, according to Melanie Dodson, executive director at the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs), a nonprofit that offers early childhood services for families and tracks local industry data.

Continue Reading on The Press Democrat

California universal healthcare proposal moving forward

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – State lawmakers moved forward with an effort to create a single-payer, universal health care system in California on Tuesday.

In an 11 to 3 vote, the Assembly Health Committee approved a bill aiming to make single-payer, universal health care a reality.

“I feel like the entire health care system has forgotten its oath and lost its way,” Assm. Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, said.

Continue Reading on KRON 4

Universal health care proposal gets first test in California

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Tuesday will start debating whether to create the nation’s first universal health care system, a key measure of whether the proposal has the support to pass this year.

Progressives have tried for years to create a government-funded universal health care system to replace the one that relies on private insurance. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a 1994 ballot initiative that would have created a universal health care system. Another attempt passed the state Senate in 2017, but it died in the state Assembly with no funding plan attached to it.

This year, Democrats in the state Assembly have filed two bills: one that would create the universal health care system and set its rules, the other would lay out how to pay for everything by raising taxes on some wealthier individuals and larger businesses.

The first bill is the one getting a hearing on Tuesday before the Assembly Health Committee, where Chair Jim Wood, a Democrat from Santa Rosa, has already said he will vote for it. Because the proposal was introduced last year, it must pass the state Assembly by the end of January to have a chance at becoming law this year.

Continue Reading on AP News

Tax hikes for universal health care in California?

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To implement single-payer health care, or not to implement single-payer health care?

That’s the question facing state lawmakers after a group of Democratic legislators on Thursday unveiled a package of bills to create a universal health care program called CalCare. The proposal has already earned better reception than it did last year, when it was tabled without a hearing after lawmakers raised concerns about its lack of a funding source.

Democratic Assemblymember Jim Wood of Santa Rosa said Thursday that he will vote to move the bill forward next week when it’s scheduled to be considered by the Assembly Health Committee, which he leads.

  • Wood: “I continue to feel the frustration, desperation, and quite frankly, the anger that many Californians experience in their efforts to access quality and affordable health care. … Something’s got to give, so next Tuesday, I’ll be voting for change.”

Continue Reading on Calmatters

Northern California health care steps up with treatments, telehealth as coronavirus surges in 2020

in People
Dr. Gary Green, an infectious disease specialist at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital is the first to be vaccinated at the hospital against COVID-19, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2020

When the coronavirus landed early this year on U.S. shores, the North Bay made some notable news.

In February, NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville became the first hospital in the country to have admitted a patient with respiratory symptoms that later was confirmed to have been the first COVID-19 case of unknown origin, now commonly understood to be community spread.

COVID-19 would go on to stress health care systems and their leaders like never before, as they focused on securing enough personal protective equipment and ventilators while clinicians worked around-the-clock to save patients from a foreign virus.

With no known treatment on the horizon, health care workers increasingly grew exhausted and anxious as their lives also were in peril, succinctly expressed in April by a local health care executive.

Continue Reading on Northbay Business Journal

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