LOS ANGELES – Jan. 11, 2023 – Yesterday, Governor Newsom unveiled his 2023-24 state budget proposal, which works to avoid cuts to California’s most critical programs in the face of a projected $22.5-billion deficit.
Despite the shortfall, the Governor maintains commitments to transforming and expanding Medi-Cal through continued investments in CalAIM and the expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible Californians, regardless of immigration status, on January 1, 2024. This is laudable.
Community health centers share the Governor’s goal of universal coverage, but for coverage to be meaningful it must translate into access. What the budget does not do is make critically needed investments to bolster the health care workforce and the Medi-Cal provider network infrastructure. The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) urges the Governor to prioritize rather than delay investments in health care workforce training programs and to make new investments to grow and strengthen the safety net health care workforce.
The Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax – a tax on health insurance plans that generates federal matching funds for the state – is a valuable tool in the Governor’s budget that should generate revenue for the Medi-Cal program. Medi-Cal urgently needs a new, ongoing revenue stream, but any additional funding from the MCO tax must be directed to strengthening the Medi-Cal program to enhance access for patients.
“Medi-Cal needs an additional revenue stream to support the transformative changes the state is seeking to improve the program and improve the health of our communities,” said Louise McCarthy, President & CEO of CCALAC. “An MCO tax that generates billions should not be used to fill budget gaps, but should augment the Medi-Cal budget to make up for decades of underfunding and to ensure people have timely access to the comprehensive, high-quality care they deserve.”
CCALAC looks forward to engaging with the Administration in the coming months as it explores opportunities to identify revenues to support increased access in the Medi-Cal system.
THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community health centers in California. CCALAC’s 65 members provide comprehensive care to over 1.7 million patients throughout LA County. Founded in 1994, CCALAC and its members share a common mission of supporting and expanding access to quality comprehensive care for every individual. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.
Contact: Taryn Burks – Communications Specialist, email@example.com | (213) 201-6529.