Outraged Doctors Across California Rally to Extend CHIP and end Anti-Immigrant Policies



Tuesday December 12, 2017

Contact: Sunyata Altenor | 917-574-5394 | saltenor@cirseiu.org

Outraged Doctors Across California Rally to Extend CHIP and end Anti-Immigrant Policies

Resident physicians across California are outraged at the attacks on healthcare access and anti-immigrant policies enacted by Congress and the Trump Administration. On Tuesday, December 12 at 11:30AM physicians, medical students, nurses and community members will rally at over 10 hospitals across California demanding healthcare for all and an end to anti-immigrant policies. An effort spearheaded by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), the largest resident physician union in the country, the 12.12 rallies are the most recent response from young doctors to the ongoing legislative attacks against against the ACA and the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

“Anti-immigrant policies are harmful, discriminatory, and undermine our communities and economy. They are against the values of our country and profession. We demand a clean DACA bill for these young men and women, who serve our country and have known no other home. We reject the presence of immigration enforcement in any healthcare facility. No family should have to choose between seeking care for a sick child and fearing deportation. And we are appalled at the use of our taxpayer dollars to militarize our borders and terrorize children and families,” said Dr. Peter Cooch, Pediatric Chief Resident, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Union members at Zuckerberg San Francisco General will be joined by a number of advocacy groups including: The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children Now (California) and UCSF Child Health Equity Institute, White Coats for Black Lives, and Do No Harm.

“For 20 years, children in this country have been able to live longer, healthier lives because of CHIP. Since CHIP was created by a bipartisan group of legislators, the number of uninsured kids has dropped from 14% to 7%. The fact that Congress couldn’t meet the deadline to ensure that kids keep their health coverage is beyond bad politics, it’s inhumane and un-American,” said Kelly Hardy, Senior Managing Health Director at Children Now the statewide Pro-Kid research and advocacy organization.

For months, residents in the pediatrics department have been advocating to protect healthcare for children, low-income and immigrant communities. California has the first statewide advocacy training collaborative of pediatric residents in the country with the goal of coordinating advocacy efforts to have a greater impact for child health.

“As physicians, we don’t get a chance to leave the hospital often, so we think it’s a great opportunity for us to amplify our unified voice and partner with other groups that support the wellbeing of children. In the debate around who gets to have healthcare and who doesn’t, the voices of doctors are missing. Everyday we see how under insuring the population leads to increases in healthcare costs, preventable illness, unemployment, poverty and even death. We’ve heard enough from politicians who don’t treat patients, it’s time for them to hear from us. Everyone needs to know that any cuts to Medicaid and CHIP will impact all children who receive care at children’s hospitals, regardless of their type of insurance,” said Dr. Anda Kuo, Pediatrics, Co-Lead, UCSF ChIld Health Equity Institute.

The 12.12 rallies to “Put Kids First” will take place at several hospitals including: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Kaiser LA, UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UC Davis Medical Center, UC Irvine Medical Center, and Valley Children’s Hospital, UC San Diego, University of Southern California, and UCLA.

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About the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU Healthcare)

Founded in 1957, the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU Healthcare) is the oldest and largest housestaff union in the U.S., representing more than 15,000 physicians in public and private teaching hospitals across the country. CIR empowers resident physicians to have a voice in their employment and training and to be advocates for their patients.