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Poll: 44% of Black Californians Give State’s Health Care System Low Marks  

Tanu Henry and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

      According to results of a survey released by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) on Jan. 31, over 40% of Black Californians are dissatisfied with the state’s health care system.  

On racial equity, a statement CHCF released last week read, “44% of Black Californians and 33% of Latino/x Californians say the state has made “only a little progress” or “no progress at all” in recent years.”  

      The report, titled the 2024 CHCF California Health Policy Survey, is released annually. It provides a “snapshot of Californians’ views on health issues.” The research for it was conducted in September and October last year.   

      “Access to mental health care and the rising cost of care have emerged in this year’s poll as two of the health issues Californians are most concerned about,” says Kristof Stremikis, director of Market Analysis and Insight at CHCF.  

      “Californians have strong views on the need to improve treatment options for people experiencing serious mental illness — and they are increasingly frustrated with their own personal access to mental health providers,” Stremikis continued.   

      Among all races and ethnic groups, the poll found that 53% of Californians postponed seeking medical care because of high costs.  

      It also revealed that 25% of the people polled say they or someone close to them needs treatment for serious mental illness. For substance abuse or addiction, that number is 21%.  

      The survey also found that 14% of Black Californians say they or someone they know has experienced homelessness.  

      Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), chair of the Senate Committee on Health said policymakers should be concerned.  

      “The CHCF poll also highlights a range of other issues that we will all need to focus on in this year’s health policy debates — from promoting racial equity in the health care system to building a health workforce that looks more like California.” 

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