Making Democracy Work

Health Care Positions

League positions on Health Care were originally adopted in 1984, amended in 2017, and are reviewed annually.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County strongly supports measures for the prevention and/or early detection of health problems and believes that basic health services available in our county should include, but not be limited to:

1. Public health services, including environmental health, vital statistics, health education, family planning, prenatal care, immunizations, communicable disease control, public health nursing, and child health services (including well-baby clinics),

2. Mental health services,

3. Programs to treat substance use disorders (SUD) and accompanying co-occurring mental health disorders (COD),

4. Home health care,

5. Hospice,

6. School health/nursing services,

7. Disaster services related to public health and emergency care,

8. Medical and dental services for persons who lack adequate financial resources and are not covered by health benefits programs,

9. Rehabilitation services such as the Cabrillo College Stroke Center,

10. Other services and facilities such as hospitals, clinics, health maintenance organizations, emergency medical care, dental care, nursing homes, and private health care practitioners.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County recognizes the special role of County government in assuring a healthy environment and meeting community health needs, and believes that local government should fill this role through means such as:

1. Assessing and documenting needs; establishing priorities based on these needs,

2. Promoting legislation at the State and Federal levels and passing local legislation to meet these needs,

3. Providing needed programs not otherwise funded through State and Federal resources,

4. Urging the State to provide funding for programs it mandates,

5. Actively seeking and developing funding sources for needed health programs,

6. Making cost-effective allocations of funds which are channeled through local government,

7. Coordinating and evaluating programs so that resources can be used effectively and duplication of services can be avoided,

8. Providing information and referrals to assist persons lacking adequate resources,

9. Encouraging the private sector to assist persons lacking adequate resources.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County feels the following criteria should be applied to decisions related to the funding of public health care services:

1. Documented community needs,

2. Legal responsibilities, regulations and mandates,

3. Cost effectiveness,

4. Urgency of need.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County believes that public involvement in health care decision-making is essential and that measures should be taken to ensure that involvement. The County should:

1. Continue the existence of County boards, commissions and task forces related to health,

2. Support these groups through adequate funding and staffing,

3. Actively recruit appropriate community members for these groups and make timely appointments when vacancies occur,

4. Promote public awareness of avenues for community involvement and of how to effectively participate,

5. Ensure the meeting process allows for public input.

The League of Women Voters also:

1. Encourages continued community representation on boards and committees of health care providers such as hospitals and clinics,

2. Supports the local health planning process,

3. Encourages public participation in governmental budget hearings and health planning hearings.