LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2021 – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised May budget proposal which outlines the governor’s plan for allocating California’s historic $76 billion surplus and $27 billion in federal COVID-19 relief.
COVID-19 revealed inadequacies in our public health systems and laid bare persistent health disparities. We are pleased to see the governor is proposing investments to expand access to care and improve health equity, especially continued funding for Health4All with the expansion of Medi-Cal to income eligible individuals ages 60 and over, regardless of immigration status, next Spring. We are also encouraged by additional investments in transforming the Medi-Cal program under CalAIM, continued efforts to address homelessness, enhanced funding for mental health and substance use disorder services, additional investments in strengthening the state’s health care workforce by building a more comprehensive state data system to inform policy recommendations, significant investments in early childhood education, and steps to expand access to broadband to help bridge the digital divide.
We appreciate that the administration’s Medi-Cal telehealth proposal continues to evolve to better reflect the needs of both patients and the safety net providers who serve them. We are encouraged to see developments with regard to telephonic (audio) visits; however, we continue to maintain that payment parity for such visits is essential while we work to address the barriers that prevent many patients from utilizing video modalities. We look forward to continued collaboration with the legislature and the administration to ensure equity across payers and delivery systems and to make certain health center patients are able to use both video and telephone modalities to access health care services.
California faces an extraordinary opportunity with this budget to lay a foundation to address the health, economic, and racial inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic. As California recovers, we support the Governor in taking ambitious steps to improve critical services and programs—such as education, housing, nutrition and childcare—that we know are key to reducing disparities and improving the well-being of our communities. We look forward to working with the legislature and the administration to advance the priorities of our member clinics and the patients and families they serve.
THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 64 members that serve nearly 1.7 million patients throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.
Contact: Taryn Burks – Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529.