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Covered California’s big debut in Monterey County met with an enthusiastic public as hundreds came on Oct. 2 to a free health fair organized by SEIU Local 521 in partnership with the county and Natividad Medical Center.
Those who came got to learn more about vital health services provided by the county and talk one-on-one with Covered California Certified Educators from SEIU Local 521 who provided information about the new online marketplace where consumers can shop for low-cost or no cost health insurance.
The event, held at Natividad Medical Center, was widely covered by local media outlets.
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“This week, we are hearing very loudly from groups that are trying to defeat the Affordable Care Act for political reasons. As union members and members of this community, we are proud to be on the side that is trying to bring affordable, quality health care to all. We are proud to be putting our Community First,” said Luisa Blue, SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer. “SEIU 521 signed up to work on behalf of Covered California because we know the populations that need health insurance. Throughout public hospitals and public and private clinics, our members provide quality health care services every day to families that will benefit most from this coverage. We know that about 50,000 residents in this region are eligible for low cost or no cost health coverage and we hope to reach to reach some of them today. We believe this benefits the entire community when everyone has access to affordable, quality health care.”
Other speakers at the press conference that kicked off the health fair included State Sen. Bill Monning, County Board of Supervisors President Simon Salinas, and Harry Weiss, CEO of Natividad Medical Center.
Said Sen. Monning: “I want to thank SEIU Local 521 and its members for their central role in advancing implementation (of health care reform) and promoting public information. This is a historic moment and there is nothing happening in Washington, D.C. today that is stopping us from implementing the Affordable Care Act.”
“With the roll out of health care reform, our vision is to be a healthcare delivery system that collaborates with other providers to offer accessible, high quality and high value healthcare services in a financially stable manner,” said Harry Weiss, CEO of NMC.
The fair featured various booths set up by participating organizations including: the Monterey County Health Department; Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, which was at the fair to provide information about low cost childcare; the American Cancer Society; Central California Alliance for Health; ValleyHearing Center; and the Natividad Medical Center Outreach Team.
One of the more popular booths was staffed by NMC clinic workers, who were giving free flu shots.
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