Health Access California Endorses Proposition 55

Prop. 55 Helps Improve Access to Health Care for Low-Income Children

SACRAMENTO- Support by health care advocates for Proposition 55 continues to grow with the endorsement of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy. Proposition 55, on the November ballot, does not raise taxes on anyone, it simply maintains the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians to prevent billions in cuts to education and other vital services, including health care programs for low-income children.

“Low-income children and families continue to experience recession-era cuts, making it difficult for them to access the quality, affordable health care and benefits that they need,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California. “Proposition 55 will prevent additional cuts, and allow the state to invest in the health and well-being of all Californians, in order to create a stronger health system for our state.”

California chronically underfunds health care, and Prop. 55 provides up to $2 billion per year to give low- income families with kids increased access to care. This measure helps low-income families with children access the care they need, especially preventative care, which keeps kids healthier and saves California money in the long run. Prop. 55 will help low-income children come to school healthy and ready to learn – because everyone deserves access to quality health care, not just the wealthiest Californians.

Other health care advocacy and medical organizations, including the California Medical Association and California Children’s Hospital Association, are joining together with educators, school employees, business organizations and community groups to support Proposition 55.

Prop. 55, the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016, will temporarily maintain the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians for 12 more years – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year. Prop. 55 directs funds specifically to K-12 public education and community colleges, while also allocating funds to health care for low-income children and their families. The proposition contains strict accountability requirements.

Budget forecasts show that unless we extend the taxes on the wealthy, which would continue to bring in an average of $8 billion in annual revenues, our public schools will lose nearly $4 billion and our state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion in the first full year alone.

A recent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey found that 64% of voters support extending the income tax rates on the wealthiest individuals and couples to spare education and other vital services from a repeat round of devastating budget cuts.