Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Sen. Kamala Harris Tours Los Angeles Sites Threatened by Trump Budget and GOP Health Care Bill 
By  Niele Anderson, Contributing Writer 
Published June 8, 2017

Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, engages with U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley -Thomas during a tour of the facility lead by Dr. Mark Ghaley, Deputy Director for Community Health for the LA County Dept. of Health Services. (courtesy photo)

Before heading back to Washington, D.C. to participate in one of the most anticipated Senate Intelligence hearings, the testimony of Former FBI Director James Comey; Senator Harris makes an assessment of her district.

One of the senator’s stops was Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in South L.A., where federal budget cuts could be damaging. Harris listened and spoke with patients and doctors, many of whom are covered by Medicaid. The GOP healthcare bill cuts Medicaid by more than $800 billion and would result in 14 million Americans losing healthcare coverage next year.

Harris was greeted by 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas who continues to deliver his promise for a new era in healthcare at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital. Los Angeles County invested $284 million to build the hospital and provided another $171 million in startup funding before handing off responsibility for day-to-day operations to the private nonprofit Martin Luther King Jr. Los Angeles Healthcare Corporation. In 2015, then Attorney General Kamala Harris was present for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Martin Luther King Jr Hospital.

The Sentinel asked the U.S. Senator her thoughts regarding the Republicans Repeal and Replace plans, and she stated, “there are things that we can do to improve the Affordable Care Act, but we do not have to get rid of it. There’s a reason why the word improvement is in the dictionary. Let’s take a look at prescription drug cost… there are things we can do, but getting rid of it is not going to improve the health community who has come to rely upon it. The Affordable Care Act has allowed institutions like MLK to meet the needs of its community.”

Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris visits the Naval Base Coronado, the Naval Special Warfare Training Center and receives a briefing on capabilities and operations of the Navy SEALs. The Senator also met with a Special Reconnaissance Team. She also toured the USS Theodore Roosevelt and received a briefing on the Third Fleet with a focus on U.S. operations in the Pacific. (courtesy photo)

Other stops for the senator included Ports of Los Angeles and Naval Base Coronado.  It is predicted that the president’s budget will devastate municipal transportation and urban development, hitting California especially hard. As a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Harris sent a letter of support to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, for America’s Global Freight Gateway: Southern California Rail Project to secure a grant under the Department of Transportation’s Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program. This project will remove freight bottlenecks to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are the first and second busiest container ports in the nation.

At the Naval Base Coronado, Senator Harris visited the Naval Special Warfare Training Center and received a briefing on capabilities and operations of the Navy SEALs and met with a Special Reconnaissance Team.  She also toured the USS Theodore Roosevelt and received a briefing on the Third Fleet with a focus on U.S. operations in the Pacific.

The Sentinel’s last question for the senator was as a member of the Intelligence Committee would she or the committee be looking into the Department of Defense, and revoking security clearances for Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions in the wake of the latest Russia Collusion findings? Her response, “as far as I’m concerned, everything is on the table, everything.”

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