Mae Torlakson on healthcareThe Affordable Care Act and Covered California have taken large steps to improve access to affordable health care. Three and half million Californians now have healthcare that did not before. About half of these now receive their care through Medi-Cal. But, there is still much more we must do to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable care. There are as many as three million additional Californians that need to be connected to health services.

Besides pursuing efficiencies in our healthcare system to provide more funding for patient care, I am a big proponent of staying fit through good exercise and good eating. The twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity are costing us billions. These costs can be dramatically reduced with better intervention programs and more public health and community prevention efforts. These efforts should include better food choices and serving more fruits and vegetables in our schools. It should also include safe parks and recreational activities for our children and families where they could engage in active play or organized sports.