September 07, 2018
In 2016, the California Medical Association (CMA) led a coalition of health care advocates to take on Big Tobacco to drastically expand funding for existing health programs and research into cures for cancer and other illnesses caused by tobacco products.
Under CMA’s leadership, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 56, which imposed a $2 per pack tax hike on tobacco products that will generate over $1 billion a year dedicated to increasing access to health care by improving provider payments and other crucial health care programs.
Thanks to Prop. 56, the California Legislature created a $40 million graduate medical education (GME) fund for the University of California (UC) to sustain, retain and expand GME programs, with the goal of increasing the number of primary care and emergency physicians in California. This program will be administered by CMA’s foundation—Physicians for a Healthy California (PHC)—on behalf of the UC and in coordination with a five-member executive board and 15-member Advisory Council.
PHC expects to release these funds to GME programs in the current fiscal year.