June 02, 2020
The California State Senate on Friday adopted a spending plan for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, rejecting many of the health care cuts proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom in his revised budget proposal.
In his May budget revision, Gov. Newsom had proposed reclaiming the health care funding made possible by the Proposition 56 tobacco tax, and instead using it to address the looming $54 billion budget deficit. The Senate rejected that plan, and fully restores the tobacco tax funds, including the funding for existing supplemental payments and the CalHealthCares loan repayment program. The Senate budget invests in programs that improve meaningful access to care by increasing the number of physicians caring for Medi-Cal patients.
The budget debate now moves to the Assembly, which will present and adopt its proposed spending plan this week. The Senate and Assembly will then work to reconcile the differences in the two spending plans and vote on a budget bill to send to the Governor for approval by June 15.
The California Medical Association is urging physicians to contact their Assemblymembers TODAY as they consider how to balance the budget. It is critically important that the legislature understands the need to protect access to care for Medi-Cal enrollees and REJECT the Governor’s repurposing of Prop. 56 tobacco tax revenue.
At a time when Californians are struggling financially, and Medi-Cal enrollment is expected to increase by more than 2 million patients, we must protect vital services for those who need them most and continue to invest in health care in the midst of this pandemic.
SEE ALSO: Will California Sacrifice Access to Health Care During a Pandemic?