The “Protect Our Health Care” Initiative is now Proposition 35

July 09, 2024
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care 

We have reached an important stage in our campaign to protect and improve access to health care, particularly for the one in three Californians with Medi-Cal coverage, including half of California’s children. The ballot measure sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) and the Protect Our Health Care Coalition has been assigned a proposition number for the November ballot by the California Secretary of State.

Now known as Proposition 35, the “Protect Our Health Care” ballot initiative will secure ongoing funding for the Medi-Cal program by extending an existing tax on health insurance companies — without raising taxes on individuals — and dedicating these funds to protect and expand access to care for all Californians. And importantly, it will prevent the state from redirecting these revenues for non-health care purposes. ​

The 2024-25 state budget passed by the legislature in recent days underscores the importance of passing our ballot measure in November, to ensure continued investment in Medi-Cal and the health care workforce. CMA and our coalition partners were very disappointed that much of the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax revenue intended to ensure that our health care system has the resources needed to provide access to care for all Californians was shifted to other priorities.

Prop. 35 will secure and make permanent the historic Medi-Cal investment that the Governor and Legislature agreed to last year. It will ensure that patient access to care is not compromised during challenging fiscal times, when meaningful access to health care becomes even more critical in sustaining healthy and productive communities and driving our economy forward.

The Protect Our Health Care initiative is essential to ensure the accessibility of health care services for all Californians and recognizes the vital role that physicians play in achieving this vision.

Prop. 35 includes targeted rate increases for primary care and specialty care to make it easier for patients with Medi-Cal coverage to find a physician. In addition, the measure includes funding for graduate medical education to create more residency slots and new residency programs and loan repayment for those who agree to treat patients with Medi-Cal coverage. 

Specifically, the initiative will:  

  • Expand access to preventive health care for patients with Medi-Cal coverage, leading to fewer costly emergency room visits and shorter wait times for all Californians;
  • Increase funding for mental health, including for those who need in-patient care;
  • Help California to manufacture its own insulin and other prescription drugs for much lower prices than exist currently; and
  • Expand California’s education and training to create a pipeline of physicians and other health care providers to help alleviate shortages in underserved areas of the state. 

The CMA-led Prop 35 campaign also recently launched its first round of digital and TV ads to educate the voters about the importance of passing our ballot measure to address California’s most urgent health care priorities this November.

This ad is just the beginning, and we need your help to amplify its message. The participation and support of California's physicians will be key to advancing this initiative. Please share the video on your social media channels and help us spread the word! 

In the coming weeks, CMA will contact you with more opportunities to assist in outreach and education efforts and to keep you informed about our progress. Thank you for helping us get this far and we look forward to getting you more involved in the Prop 35 campaign!


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