Budget Agreement Punts Critical Investments in Health Care to Next Governor
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced they had reached an agreement on the 2018-19 state budget. The 2018 Budget Conference Committee is expected to vote this evening on that agreement – which falls far short of the additional investments needed to improve health care access, affordability, and quality for millions of Californians, requested by the Assembly, Senate, CPEHN, and other advocates. Despite a multi-billion dollar budget surplus, the committee will vote to invest just $5 million in creating a commission “to study” California’s health care needs as well as $500 million for tackling homelessness.
“The Governor had an opportunity to change people’s lives for the better TODAY but instead, chose to pin his legacy on a large rainy day reserve,” said Kimberly Chen, Government Affairs Manager for CPEHN. “Communities across California were loud and clear about what they need NOW to improve their health and well-being – including expanded access to health care and greater affordability – but those pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” added Chen.
CPEHN budget priorities:
- Health4All: Full Scope Medi-Cal for Undocumented Adults over Age 65 & Young Adults up to Age 26 – not included
- Access to Asthma Preventive Services for Medi-Cal Beneficiaries – not included
- Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health – included
- Asian Pacific Islander (API) Data Disaggregation at the Department of Health Care Services – not included
- Proposition 56 Supplemental Payments for Adult Dental Preventive Services – proposed for action outside budget process
- Ensuring the restoration of dental benefits and enhanced provider payments in Medi-Cal results in increased access to dental care for beneficiaries. – not included
- Increased funding for outreach & education for Census 2020 – included
Additional Care4AllCA priorities:
- Raising the Medi-Cal Aged and Disabled income level up to 138% FPL – not included
- Additional financial assistance for consumers earning between 200-400% FPL – not included
“The nation is looking to California to set the example for bold and innovative policies that improve the lives of all our citizens, despite constant Federal attacks,” said Chen. “We are excited to see an investment in tackling homelessness, but there is still much more work to be done.”