May 02, 2023
Hundreds of physicians, residents and medicals students gathered in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, for the 49th annual California Medical Association (CMA) Legislative Advocacy Day.
This year’s event was by all accounts a wildly successful endeavor. CMA welcomed nearly 400 attendees, representing 45+ specialties and 24 component medical societies. Attendees participated in a total of 120 legislator meetings as champions for patients and the practice of medicine.
“I think it is so important to advocate for our patients,” said Quinn Lippman, M.D., an ob-gyn who attended advocacy day with her peers from the San Diego County Medical Society. “There’s the one-on-one care we give in our offices every day, but [it's important that we] take a step back and look at the broader picture of who has access to health care, how that care is being delivered, what medications patients have access to.”
Attendees received updates from CMA President Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., and CMA’s chief lobbyist Stuart Thompson about key health care issues before the legislature this year. Attendees then lobbied their legislators in support of CMA's priority issues, including:
- SB 598: Prior Authorization Reform, which would significantly reduce the administrative burden physicians must bear because of prior authorization.
- AB 765: Truth in Advertising, which protects patients AND physicians against allied health professionals who use terminology to misrepresent themselves as physicians.
- Medi-Cal: While we have made sure that all Californians have health care coverage, it is meaningless if they can’t see a provider or get regular, timely care outside of the emergency room. Access to care is the last leg of the stool that holds this safety net program up and is the key to unlocking quality health care for all and reducing disparities.
Legislative Advocacy attendees also enjoyed an engaging panel discussion from our keynote luncheon speakers, physician Assemblymembers Joaquin Arambula, M.D., Jasmeet Bains, M.D., and Akilah Weber, M.D.
Click here to see photos from this year’s Legislative Advocacy Day (tag and share, too!).
And the Golden Gavel Goes to….
The CMA Political Action Committee (CALPAC) also concluded its three-week Golden Gavel contest in conjunction with Legislative Advocacy Day, with a record setting fundraising total of just over $13,800.
The annual contest challenges physicians from each county medical society to make a new donation or upgrade their current level of giving to CALPAC. At the end of the contest period, the medical society that had the highest level of giving won the Golden Gavel. This year’s winner was the physicians of the San Bernardino County Medical Society.
See You Next Year!
We are grateful for the time everyone took out of their busy schedules to speak with legislators on the issues impacting the delivery of health care in California. Next year will mark CMA's 50th Legislative Advocacy Day and we hope to see you there!