April 24, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
Today, the Assembly Committee on Health voted to advance Assembly Bill 3087 (Kalra), a harmful government intrusion into the health care market that would decimate California’s health care system, limit access to health care providers, create state-sanctioned rationing and increase out-of-pocket costs for patients.
“Today is a dangerous step backward for patient access to health care in California,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D. “This poorly-conceived legislation would do nothing to reduce health care costs; instead it would destabilize California’s health care system, resulting in less access to care and services and more costs shifted to patients.”
“This bill would only speed us toward intensifying consolidation of the health care industry, turning care into a one-size-fits-all assembly-line commodity, said California Dental Association President Natasha Lee, DDS. “I am deeply concerned about its potential to disrupt care for millions of Californians, as well as limit the number of health care providers willing to practice in the state.”
According to an initial estimate by the California Hospital Association (CHA), the bill would cause an estimated 175,000 hospital workers alone to lose their jobs, and force many hospitals and medical practices to close. AB 3087 would also push physicians, dentists and other clinicians into early retirement or to other states that have more viable working conditions.
“AB 3087 is a big, bad bill for the health of Californians,” said CHA President and CEO Carmela Coyle. “All this bill does is to say what price people are going to pay for a service, it does nothing to address the underlying costs of care. AB 3087 would result in 60 percent of hospitals operating in the red, causing hundreds of thousands of health care workers to lose their jobs. Access to health care services for all Californians would be at risk if AB 3087 is enacted.”
A recent survey of 359 California physicians conducted by CMA found:
- 92 percent opposed AB 3087 (6 percent undecided, 2 percent in support).
- 57 percent believed AB 3087 would force them to leave California and practice elsewhere.
- 39 percent believed AB 3087 would force them into early retirement.
- Only 5.5 percent believed AB 3087 would have little to no effect on their medical practice.
- Of the 82 percent of respondents who currently serve Medi-Cal patients, 64 percent believed AB 3087 would force them to decrease the number of Medi-Cal patients they serve.
The top five concerns from the survey respondents included:
- Ineffective policy since physicians are a small percentage of health care costs (62 percent).
- Untested government-mandated price cap (61 percent).
- Exacerbates California’s physician shortage (58 percent).
- Forces physicians into early retirement, out of state or out of business (59 percent).
- Reduces patient access to care (54 percent).
A coalition of nearly three dozen health care organizations submitted a letter in opposition to AB 3087.
To take action against this bill, click here to contact your legislators.
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The California Medical Association represents the state’s physicians with more than 43,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit cmadocs.org, and follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.