Call Your Representatives to Reject Budget Proposal to Take Away Prop 56 Funds for Supplemental Payments, -and- Revised state budget proposal includes major health care cuts

CALAAEM News Service at
Tue May 19 10:31:17 PDT 2020


May 19, 2020




 <> CMA


ACCMA and CMA are urging physicians to
contact their local legislators today as they debate the Governor's proposed
"solutions" to balance the health care budget. It is critically important
the legislature understand the need to protect access to care for Medi-Cal
enrollees and
REJECT the Governor's repurposing of Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenue. 

On May 14, Governor Newsom proposed taking virtually all of the Proposition
56 Tobacco Tax Revenue to help close the state's budget deficit. CMA is
urging the Legislature to stand with physicians to protect patient access to
care and REJECT the Governor's proposal to cut payments to Medi-Cal
providers and eliminate the state's $272 million provider loan repayment

Difficult decisions will be made by the Legislature over the coming weeks to
address the state's fiscal challenges. But state leaders cannot balance the
state budget on the backs of patients and the physicians who have risen to
meet COVID-19 crisis.

Newsom's new budget proposal violates the will of the voters when they
passed Proposition 56, and breaks the governor's promise to ensure the
initiative supports increased access to care. Ending this vital program will
eliminate access to care for hundreds of thousands of patients from
low-income, rural and underserved communities across California, and punish
physicians who want to ensure all patients, regardless of income or zip
code, have access to a physician when they need one.


Contact Numbers for Assemblymembers

*	Asm. Jim Frazier, District 11: (916) 319-2011 or (707) 399-3011
*	Asm. Tim Grayson, District 14: (916) 319-2014 or (925) 521-1511
*	Asm. Buffy Wicks, District 15: (916) 319-2015 or (510) 286-1400
*	Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, District 16: (916) 319-2016 or (925)
*	Asm. Rob Bonta, District 18: (916) 319-2018 or (510) 286-1670
*	Asm. Bill Quirk, District 20: (916) 319-2020 or (510) 583-8818

*	Asm. Kansen Chu, District 25: (916) 319-2025 or (408) 262-2501

Contact Numbers for Senators

*	Sen. Bill Dodd, District 03: (916) 651-4003 or (707) 224-1990
*	Sen. Steve Glazer, District 07: (916) 651-4007 or (925) 258-1176
*	Sen. Nancy Skinner, District 09: (916) 651-4009 or (510) 286-1333
*	Sen. Bob Wieckowski, District 10: (916) 651-4010 or (510) 651-4010


May 15, 2020


Revised state budget proposal includes major health care cuts




May 15, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom released his updated state budget proposal this week for
the fiscal year 2020-21. While the Governor's January proposal provided
billions in new revenues and health care spending, the revised proposal
reflects an economy battered by the fallout from COVID-19, and sets the
state for a month-long fight over program priorities in the Legislature and
with the Newsom Administration. 


California began 2020 with a strong economy, historic reserves, a
structurally balanced budget and a projected surplus of $5.6 billion.
However, the Governor's financial analysts now predict revenue declines of
$41.2 billion due to job losses and business closures due to the public
health emergency.


Meanwhile, the state's social service obligations are expected to
dramatically increase as millions of Californians seek help to deal with the
economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 outbreak. ealth and Human
Services spending is expected to increase by $7.1 billion, reflecting
increased caseloads for safety net programs, including an additional 2
million Californians on Medi-Cal due to the skyrocketing number of the
recently unemployed who may be eligible


These updated predictions result in an overall budget deficit of
approximately $54.3 billion, of which $13.4 billion occurs in the current
budget year (2019-20) and $40.9 billion in the currently being debated
budget year (2020-21). This overall deficit is nearly 37% of the General
Fund spending authorized in last year's budget.


In his May budget revision, Gov. Newsom proposed reclaiming the health care
funding made possible by the Proposition 56 tobacco tax, and instead uses it
to address the looming budget deficit. While the administration's plan
protects funding for Proposition 56 graduate medical education, it
eliminates the loan repayment program for physicians and dentists who agree
to see more Medi-Cal patients.


Absent additional federal funds, Gov. Newsom proposes making the following
health care program reductions:

*	$1.2 billion in Proposition 56 funding that had been used to provide
supplemental Medi-Cal payments to physician and dentists, family health
services, developmental screenings, non-emergency medical transportation,
value-based payments, and loan repayments for physicians and dentists.
*	Adult dental and all optional benefits including audiology,
incontinence creams and washes, speech therapy, optician/optical lab,
podiatry, acupuncture, optometry, nurse anesthetists services, occupational
and physical therapy, pharmacist services, screening, brief intervention and
referral to treatments for opioids and other illicit drugs in Medi-Cal, and
diabetes prevention program services, for a total General Fund savings of
$54.7 million.
*	The elimination of special carve outs for Federally Qualified Health
Centers for a savings of $100 million ($50 million General Fund).
*	Other health care programs totaling over $300 million in savings for
budget year 2020-2021.


The Governor has also tabled new health care proposals from his January
budget, including his plan to expand Medi-Cal coverage to include all adults
aged 65 or older, regardless of their immigration status (approximately
90,000 adults). It would have built upon the coverage currently offered to
children up to age 19, and young adults aged 19-26.


The Governor has also opted not to seek a new Office of Health Care
Affordability and to delay implementation of
<> the CalAIM
initiative, which sought to reform Medi-Cal care.


Gov. Newsom has called on the federal government to step up to support
states, including California. His new budget proposal contains billions in
cuts that will be restored only if Congress and President Trump send more
aid to states. This week, the House passed the Heroes Act, which contains
funding that would help offset Newsom's proposed "trigger restoration" cuts
of $14 billion


California Medical Association (CMA) President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D.
called on state lawmakers to
ter-N-Bretan-Jr-M-D-statement-on-Gov-Newsom-39-s-May-budget-revision> ensure
Californians are protected, regardless of what action may or may not come
from Washington. "Unfortunately, the budget outlined by Gov. Newsom will
create additional pressure and uncertainty for physician practices. While we
agree that the federal government must do more to stabilize our health care
system and our economy, we know we cannot depend on federal action to ensure
we have a budget that truly reflects California values."






Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service


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