Gonzalez, Liz

In California, Health Reform ‘Nearly Impossible to Be Undone’

By Liz Gonzalez
New America Media

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California health experts are confident that the state will continue to lead the way on health reform.

The Supreme Court announced this week that it will examine various elements of the legislation, including the legality of the individual mandate to buy coverage, whether the federal government can legally require states to expand Medicaid, and whether it is too early to rule on this because the law won’t be implemented fully until 2014.

Obama’s health care reform law has been the largest action to expand and improve the delivery of health care in the United States, a move that many health care advocates believe might not come again. It builds on the existing state-based system of private insurance; and because states are in various phases of working toward the 2014 deadline, the Supreme Court’s decision in March could be a setback for health care reform.

Immigrant Rights Supporters Refocus Struggle on Obama

By Liz Gonzalez

More than 300 people packed the Sacred Heart church in San Jose last Tuesday to hear Congressman Luis Gutierrez speak about immigration reform at a town hall meeting. The event was part of a 20-city tour being organized by the congressman from Illinois to energize and refocus immigrant rights supporters ahead of a national day of protests scheduled for Sunday, May 1.

Five years after immigrant rights advocates staged their first large-scale May Day protests, and with little indication that Congress will be making any moves on immigration legislation in the near future, immigrant communities and their supporters are switching tactics, using their voting power as leverage to lobby President Obama to use his executive power to halt deportations.

“I have not come to talk to you about comprehensive immigration reform; to speak to you about a legislative process that will bring about change. It isn’t possible,” Gutierrez told the crowd.