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Last week, we started social media question time, taking your questions on health care for Senator Yee to answer.  Below, you'll find three questions from our community this past week and Senator Yee's response. Thanks to everyone for submitting questions. We'll post a new topic next week!

Joanne M. Maerklen - Why is it so hard to find a doctor to take Medi-Cal?

ANSWER:  You're right, Joanne, it's incredibly difficult.  It's mostly because reimbursement rates are often lower than the cost of providing services, so the number of doctors that take Medi-Cal patients is low.  That's why a single-payer universal health care system is still such an important goal in the long term.  And that's why we must look at ways to expand our health care network in San Francisco - HealthySF is a great model to provide services for the uninsured, but we also need to provide a robust network for patients who use Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and Healthy Kids.

Cesar Manuel Escobar - Why are the hospitals that make outrageous mistakes not liable for their shortcomings?  Meaning: Why is everything so hush-hush?  Shouldn't their mistakes be public record?

ANSWER:  I agree. I've been a staunch advocate for open records and transparency for years - I've worked hard to improve transparency at the UC, and have supported efforts to increase transparency in hospitals. I've authored and passed legislation that requires public release of audits, a bill which stemmed from a problem at UCSF Medical Center in which the University tried to hide the results of the audit to the public. But there's more we can do, and I'm already talking with the Nurses about how we can improve transparency in San Francisco's health care system.

Tamara Ching - Please bless the public health clinics ... without them, S.F. would be a doomed city. remembers getting her polio shots in Chinatown, and vaccinations from DPH to travel oversees. Plus our immigrants get their initial checkup and medications through our public health clinics.

ANSWER: - San Francisco has been a leader in providing safety net healthcare services - our public health clinics are absolutely essential to providing services through HeathySF, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.  City funding keeps them afloat, and in these tough budget times we cannot sustain any further cuts to these essential services. That's why I helped save funding for non-profit community health centers like the Women's Community Clinic when I was Finance Chair on the Board of Supervisors; it's why I've stood against these types of cuts at the state level; and it's why I'll make funding public health clinics a priority as Mayor.

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