October 17, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
On Friday, the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates meeting in Anaheim voted unanimously to urge the State of California to restore public health funding. The resolution (Resolution 112-15) calls on CMA to work with state health and legislative officials, through the state budget process, to develop a plan to repair California’s public health infrastructure and funding for vital prevention services that have been eliminated or drastically reduced since 2007-08.
It is estimated that over $226.7 million per year has been lost in California Department of Public Health public health funding for things like HIV prevention, immunizations, domestic violence prevention, teen life skills, children’s dental disease prevention, preventive health care for adults and more.
These budget reductions have weakened the state’s public health infrastructure and caused massive reduction in preventive services at the local level. A study published in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the California cuts to HIV prevention funding alone were associated with an increase in new HIV infections.
Public health services save the state money by increasing population health through preventive measures, before acute care is necessary. The state’s fiscal health has improved dramatically since these cuts were implemented, and CMA believes the state’s improved financial condition should correlate to an improvement in the funding levels for these vital public health services.