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Health Equity Forum: State Legislation Update – March 2018

Legislative Update

Even in a political climate that demands responsive action and aggressive strategies, CPEHN is uniting advocates to advance proactive state legislation to improve health outcomes for communities of color. CPEHN is working with legislative champions to advance a policy agenda that includes:

AB 2434 (Bloom) Strengthening Health in All Policies: CPEHN is making sure that Health in All Policies has a long-lasting, impactful role in state government for years to come. In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an Executive Order charging the state with developing an interagency taskforce to improve the health of Californians. The Health in All Policies Taskforce, alongside the Department of Public Health, has identified, developed and launched innovative strategies for embedding health and equity in policies across state government, including climate change, planning, transportation infrastructure, food and agriculture and even racial equity strategies for state agencies. CPEHN has remained a critical partner in this work. To ensure this work extends past this and the next Governor, this proposal will install a permanent role for Health in All Policies in state government.

AB 2275 (Arambula) Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities Within Medi-Cal: CPEHN is holding health plans in Medi-Cal accountable for inequitable health outcomes of Californians covered by the program. Disparities have been well-documented by race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and zip code. Co-sponsored with the Western Center on Law and Poverty, this bill would require Managed Care Plans to set year-over-year targets for quality improvement, set specific targets and definitions in health disparities reduction for health plans to meet, publicly rate health plans on the quality of services they provide, and establish financial incentives for health plans to provide better quality health care that results in more equitable health outcomes.

 SB 1152 (Hernandez) Ensuring Homeless Communities Are Fairly Treated During Hospital Discharges: CPEHN is ensuring hospitals treat homeless patients with dignity and that they discharge individuals to appropriate community resources. Co-sponsored with SEIU State Council, this proposal would create a hospital discharge planning process for homeless patients that takes into account the unique medical and social service needs of these individuals. It would require hospitals to discharge homeless patients to a primary residence, health facility, or shelter facility that has agreed to accept them. It would also require discharge planning for homeless patients to include specified aspects, including that the patient is clothed, has been offered screening for communicable disease, and has been offered enrollment assistance for affordable health care options. Finally, the proposal encourages collaboration between hospitals and local social services providers by requiring a written plan for service coordination and referrals.

In addition to these legislative efforts, CPEHN is joining the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) in a renewed push to ensure Health4All SB 974 (Lara) which extends full-scope Medi-Cal coverage to all adults regardless of immigration status. CPEHN’s policy agenda also includes a robust budget advocacy plan, including:

  • Access to Asthma Preventive Services for Medi-Cal Beneficiaries
  • Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health
  • Ensuring the restoration of Dental Benefits and Enhanced Provider Payments in Medi-Cal results in increased access for beneficiaries.

Follow the progress of CPEHN’s legislative and budget advocacy here!