For more information:
Joel Diringer, JD, MPH
Diringer and Associates
P.O. Box 14822
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Health reform has enormous potential to help agricultural workers in California. However, health reform plans need to be structured appropriately to meet the needs of this low income, largely immigrant population, as well as the needs of agricultural employers who are faced with low profit margins and increasing foreign competition. Those California growers who do provide health insurance for their workers find themselves at a competitive disadvantage with growers, foreign and domestic, who do not provide such coverage. To level the playing field and to make health care services affordable to the industry and to farmworkers, we must find a way to reform the present system.
A team of farmworker advocates and agricultural industry representatives in Fresno County, the Salinas Valley and Ventura County have teamed up with the state’s largest health foundation to develop strategies to ensure that farmworkers are healthy and have access to health coverage. This project will work with the local coalitions to develop a joint vision on health coverage for farmworkers, examine the diverse approaches for health reform, and develop policy and program options on how the major health reform proposals can meet the needs of farmworkers. Through a statewide workgroup established from the coalition members, these findings and recommendations will be developed into a major policy report and disseminated in legislative and community briefings.
Goal: Health care coverage for agricultural workers
Organizations:The three regional efforts for farmworker coverage include Fresno Healthy Communities Access Partners, Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance Healthcare Committee and Salinas Valley’s Center for Community Advocacy. These groups consist of broad-based coalitions of stakeholders with interests in agricultural worker health coverage having representatives from the following sectors: growers, farm labor contractors, agricultural worker advocates, migrant farmworker clinics, health insurance – public and private, policy analysts, and county health officials. The coalitions have retained Joel Diringer, JD, MPH of Diringer & Associates as the project consultant. Joel is a long time policy expert on agricultural worker health coverage and California’s agricultural regions. He is responsible for facilitation of the planning processes, drafting of the recommendations and report, and implementation of the dissemination strategy. Statewide funding is from The California Endowment.: Health care coverage for agricultural workers