Blue Shield of California is supporting efforts to lift the ban of affirmative action to help address disparities in health care services and other social justice issues. The nonprofit, taxpaying health plan has donated $500,000 to the Yes on Prop. 16 Campaign. Read more about Blue Shield's support of Prop 16
“We’re proud to support Proposition 16 as an important step toward addressing the inequities that exist across California,” said Kimberley Goode, senior vice president, External Affairs, Blue Shield of California. “The disproportionate health impacts of COVID-19 alone are telling -- with African-American and Latino communities seeing much significantly higher rates of infection and death than others. What we have now is not working for everyone, and we must do more to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive state. Proposition 16 moves us in that direction.”
Proposition 16 will have enormous positive impacts for the health and wellness of Californians -- in part by ensuring California shores up its profound Black and Latino physician shortage. California’s nearly 15 million Latinos are served by just 7,000 Latino physicians, and only 5 percent of non-Latino physicians speak Spanish. Moreover, just 3 percent of California’s physicians are Black -- which has demonstrably negative effects on treatment and health outcomes.
Despite efforts by University of California medical schools, as well as California’s private medical schools, to increase diversity without the help of affirmative action programs, in-state acceptance rates for students of color never recovered.
In supporting Prop 16, Blue Shield of California is joined by hundreds of prominent current and former elected officials, activists, and advocacy groups including Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Newsom, founders of Black Lives Matter, Bernice King, Dolores Huerta, the NAACP, and the ACLU.