December 12, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
Sacramento – The “We Care for California” Coalition today said that California’s neediest and most vulnerable patients will have greater access to care under the budget blueprint put forth by Assembly Speaker John Perez, Assembly Budget Chair Nancy Skinner and Assembly Democrats.
“The forecasted budget surplus, along with today’s announcement from Assembly Democrats, gives us hope that California will stop balancing the budget at the expense of patients who need care the most but have the hardest time getting it. California has the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the country – and a commitment to restore cuts made in 2011 will help increase access for the millions of new patients eligible for health care coverage under federal reform,” said Richard Thorp, M.D., California Medical Association president.
The blueprint also acknowledges that cuts made during “the Great Recession may limit the access to health care that the ACA is intended to improve.”
“This is an important and commendable position that the Assembly Democrats have staked out today and, if passed, California patients will be the true beneficiaries and have greater access to quality care,” said Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW president.
Last summer, 8,000 health care workers and patients traveled to the State Capitol from across California, urging Governor Brown and the Legislature to stop the cuts to Medi-Cal. The rally was the largest health care rally to ever to be held in Sacramento.
“California’s patients will be better served by this blueprint,” said Duane Dauner, California Hospital Association CEO. “Restoring funding to Medi-Cal will increase access to care at a time when patients need it most – this is truly an investment in the health and future of our state.”
The We Care for California Coalition was formed earlier this year with the expressed mission to expand access to quality health care for all Californians and to oppose further rate cuts to Medi-Cal. It is the state’s largest coalition of health care providers, including major statewide organizations representing physicians, dentists, hospitals, community clinics, first responders, health workers, caregivers and major health plans. The coalition members include the California Medical Association, California Hospital Association, California Primary Care Association, Dignity Health, SEIU-UHW, California Association of Physicians Groups, the California Dental Association, Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, American Medical Response and Molina Healthcare.