SDHCC helps to educate City Heights resident about health care reform

When federal health care reform takes effect over the next few years, many City Heights residents who are uninsured and underinsured will likely become eligible for new health care programs.

One of the community groups dedicated to educating residents about the ramifications of federal health care reform – formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 – is San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage (SDHCC).

Earlier this year, SDHCC brought together leaders of East-African community groups in City Heights to help them understand what the new law means for San Diego.

“It was a great dialog and very useful for us,” said Kamal Muilenburg, SDHCC’s associate director.

During the next two years, the group plans to partner with City Heights organizations on more health-reform community education efforts. The goal is to reach those who might be eligible for new health care programs starting in 2014 and help them enroll in those programs.

“Our mission is to expand coverage for all San Diegans,” said Muilenburg. “We want everyone to have access to care, and we believe that coverage is the primary vehicle to get folks access.”

She is active on the Access to Healthcare Momentum Team, a project of the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network that works on facets of the Building Healthy Communities initiative funded by The California Endowment.

SDHCC was founded in 2001. It evolved from a public-private effort spearheaded by the county to test new approaches to covering the uninsured. The group is a diverse coalition representing different sectors in the community and varying political perspectives.

Eventually, the San Diego region could see its non-elderly uninsured population drop more than five fold to 4 percent or less, according to a report published by the SDHCC.

Adam Ward is the Mid-City CAN staff writer and a former San Diego Union-Tribune editor. Adam has lived in San Diego for nearly a decade and is the father of a young son. Contact him at award@midcitycan.org or (619) 283-9624 ext. 210.