May 14, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., released the following statement in response to Governor Gavin. Newsom's May budget revision:
"California will not be able to truly reopen until we can stabilize our health care system. That means ensuring we have the physicians we need to care for patients, regardless of whether those patients have commercial or public health coverage. Unfortunately, the budget outlined by Gov. Newsom will create additional pressure and uncertainty for physician practices. While we agree that the federal government must do more to stabilize our health care system and our economy, we know we cannot depend on federal action to ensure we have a budget that truly reflects California values.
"Gov. Newsom’s budget contains a number of proposals that do not reflect those values. Among them is a plan to eliminate a program that would ensure the 14.5 million Californians on Medi-Cal have access to a physician, especially now when they might need one most. This budget will widen the inequality gap between those on public and private insurance at a time when more Californians are struggling, and an additional 2 million low-income Californians will enroll in Medi-Cal. Our most vulnerable residents who depend on our state government for social services need additional support at this critical time, and the governor’s proposal will make it harder for those patients to get the care they need when they need it.
"The budget adds insult to injury by levying a new tax on those who are putting their lives on the line to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This is absolutely the wrong time to levy a tax on being a doctor. Thousands of physician practices have had to shutter their doors during this crisis and many will not be able to reopen at all. At a time when we need health care more than ever, California should not be making it harder for doctors to keep their practices open.
"Throughout his time in office, Gov. Newsom has made health care a priority. CMA looks forward to working with the administration to lobby federal leaders for the support California needs, and to work with state lawmakers and the governor to ensure that, regardless of what happens in Washington, we have a state budget that truly reflects California values."