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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011-01-13 "Protests Begin as Brown Announces His ‘Draconian’ Budget for California", article by Lisa Roellig, photo-essay by Bill Hackwell ( hckwll [at] ), posted at "Indybay" newswire
Hundreds came out to speak out and protest against new governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal that targets the poorest and most vulnerable populations of the state. Brown characterized his new budget as ‘Draconian’. This helpless answer to the economic crisis facing the working and poor of California illustrates the need for a broad grass roots movement from the very people who are most affected.
Newly elected Governor Jerry Brown’s 2011-2012 budget proposal slashes $12.5 billion dollars from essential health and human services. Programs that serve the most vulnerable sectors of our communities including services for the disabled, the mentally ill and drug addicted, and child and healthcare for low-income families, all face enormous cuts or complete elimination under Brown’s proposal.
Immediately following the announcement of Brown’s new ‘draconian’ budget Oakland’s O.A.S.I.S. Clinic, along with many other service providing agencies and organizations participated in a press conference in the State House denouncing this new and devastating attack on the most disenfranchised groups in California. Speakers at the press conference included Diana Sylvestre, M.D. Executive Director of O.A.S.I.S. Clinic, who spoke in defense of the drug treatment assistance program, Drug Medi-Cal, Evan LeVang of the Independent Living Services of Northern California, Glenn Backes, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. The Capitol press conference was part of statewide actions organized by Health and Human Services Network. HHS Network, held similar press conferences and rallies in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and Fresno.
After the press conference, Single Payer Now and the California Healthcare Professional Student Alliance (CAHPSA) launched a kick off rally for the California Universal Healthcare Act, CA Senate Bill 810 (SB810). The keynote speaker of the rally was SB810’s author, Senator Mark Leno. Other speakers included healthcare providers and students, who spoke on the critical need of a single-payer healthcare system, a system that would guarantee healthcare for all Californians by elimating the multi-billion dollar parasitic insurance industry. Hundreds of healthcare students and single payer supporters held placards that read “Healthcare Yes! Insurance Companies No!”
O.A.S.I.S. Clinic along with C.O.R.E. Medical Clinic, Sacramento, joined in the demand for healthcare for all and the continuation of all funding to critical and life saving health and human service programs, including the drug treatment program, Drug Medi-Cal.
Despite proof that drug treatment is highly cost effective and studies show that for every dollar spent on treatment, up to $7 is saved in reduced criminal activity, incarceration, and spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C. the Drug Medi-Cal program is in jeopardy of losing its funding. Drug Treatment also improves family stability, employment and wellness. It has been demonstrated that drug treatment reduces mortality by 30% and helps women deliver healthier babies.
OASIS, a community-based not-for-profit medical clinic located in Oakland, is a national leader in the care of underserved patients with serious medical conditions like addictions, hepatitis C, and HIV. Its patients and peer educators are recognized statewide for their education, outreach and advocacy efforts.
For more information about Oasis Clinic and other organizations participating in Monday’s action in Sacramento go to the links below:
- Oasis Clinic []
- C.O.R.E. Medical Clinic []
- California Health Professional Student Alliance []
- Health and Human Services Network of California []
- Single Payer Now []
- Independent Living Services of Northern California []

2011-01-13 photo by Bill Hackwell showing Medical Students for Universal Healthcare

2011-01-13 photo by Bill Hackwell showing Medical Students for Universal Healthcare

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