June 02, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
On May 20, 2021, SB 806 (Roth) was amended suddenly to add reforms related to the Medical Board of California’s sunset review. These amendments included a nearly 50% license fee increase for physicians and surgeons, changing the medical board’s composition to a public-member majority, granting the medical board cost-recovery to use as leverage in enforcement cases, and creating of an enforcement monitor, among other changes.
These problematic provisions were amended into the bill without being vetted by any policy committee in the California Senate. The California Medical Association, its component medical society and physician leaders responded quickly by contacting lawmakers to explain why these provisions and process were so troubling for the profession of medicine.
Due to this advocacy, Senator Roth negotiated amendments with CMA. Specifically, CMA was able to get the proposed $387 fee increase reduced to just $80—going from a 47% to 10% fee increase. Additionally, the bill was amended to restoring the board’s physician majority, with 8 physician members and 7 public members. While the bill is not perfect, obtaining these amendments before it reaches the Assembly was a major victory.
SB 806 must be voted on by the Senate by the end of this week in order to meet legislative deadlines. As the bill continues through the legislative process, CMA will continue working with lawmakers ensure SB 806 is crafted into a form that we can support.
No further grassroots action is requested from physicians at this time, but we will keep members informed as the legislation develops.