LOS ANGELES – July 1, 2022 – Last night, Governor Newsom signed the state budget into law, continuing the state’s bold leadership in expanding coverage and making critically needed investments in health care.
We are thrilled to see the expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible Californians, regardless of immigration status, by including adults age 26 to 49 by January 1, 2024. We applaud the Governor and the many partners and advocates who have worked tirelessly toward this goal, and we are excited for the more than 700,000 Californians who will finally be eligible for health care coverage. Now the work begins to prepare for enrolling these individuals and ensuring they can access the quality care they deserve. CCALAC, our members, and partners are committed to improving the strength of the Medi-Cal program as we embark on this historic expansion.
California’s health care workforce shortage is getting worse at the same time as we are expanding our Medi-Cal program. We thank the Governor and the legislature for investing in health center workforce training programs, primary care residency programs and graduate medical education, among other significant workforce investments. We look forward to identifying solutions to ensure community health centers can recruit and retain the workforce they need to ensure that Californians who gain coverage also gain meaningful access.
California’s budget demonstrates our state’s deep commitment to protecting reproductive health access as federal forces work to undermine it. Investments in reproductive health care infrastructure, workforce and our Title X family planning program will help California maintain and support the delivery of affordable, high quality, family planning services in California.
The administration’s Medi-Cal telehealth policy recognizes the importance of offering patients a variety of options to access care, including both video and audio visits. While we are pleased health centers will remain able to establish new patient relationships via video, we will need to work with the legislature to ensure that audio options are available for new patients who struggle with the digital divide and other barriers to streaming video.
There is much to celebrate in this budget, yet we are dismayed that the Governor and legislature did not adequately address the financial losses health centers are sustaining through the implementation of the Governor’s Medi-Cal Rx program. The state’s supplemental payment pool is a start, but its funding level falls short of the resources health centers have historically used to offset under-funding of Medi-Cal.
We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and the legislature on strategies to strengthen and support health centers, expand access, and center health equity to improve the health of our communities.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org | (213) 201-6529.