LOS ANGELES – May 13, 2022 – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. We applaud the Governor for a proposal that leverages an unprecedented $97 billion surplus to further California’s leadership in expanding health care coverage, ensuring reproductive health care access, and increasing investments in behavioral health, childcare, and homeless health and housing.
We are thrilled to see the historic investment in closing the remaining coverage gap by expanding Medi-Cal to income-eligible adults ages 26-49, slated to be implemented as soon as January 2024. As the state further expands the Medi-Cal program, it must also take steps to ensure a robust network of health care providers to deliver health, behavioral health, dental and specialty care to all newly covered Californians. This includes ensuring rates are sufficient to maintain and grow the provider network and investing in short-term and long-term solutions to address the state’s critical health care workforce shortage.
We are pleased to see a $1 billion investment in recognition of our workforce challenges, including funding to maintain the Health Enrollment Navigators Project over the next four years. We implore the Administration, however, to include in the final budget greater investments in existing state programs that support educational debt relief for allied and behavioral health professionals, as well as increased investments in advanced practice clinician training and graduate medical education programs.
We applaud the governor’s commitment to expanded workforce investments that prioritize the safety-net and developing a health care workforce that better reflects the diversity of our state. Community health centers serve 1 in 3 Medi-Cal members in the state – as such, the budget must include investments to expand and enhance workforce programs that we know work for health centers. In order to recruit and retain a high-quality, diverse workforce that represents the communities they serve, health centers also need long-term, sustainable solutions including reimbursement rates that accurately reflect true workforce costs.
Medi-Cal Rx took effect in January and the financial implications to clinics are now very real. We appreciate the Governor’s continued commitment to the clinic Supplemental Payment Pool. What makes clinics unique is all the additional programs and supports they offer their patients; clinics cannot sustain the same level of services with less resources. We continue to urge the Administration and Legislature to augment this supplemental funding pool by $50 million (general fund) so clinics can maintain the essential programs and services these resources support.
Health centers urge the administration to continue to prioritize efforts to address the racial and structural inequities laid bare by the pandemic. Clinics and community-based organizations are on the front lines and play a distinct role in identifying equity and justice issues at the local level and developing and implementing local solutions. The Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund is a critical component of this work and we urge the Governor and the Legislature to include this $100 million investment in the final budget.
We look forward to working with the Administration and the Legislature this year to advance the priorities of our member clinics and the patients and families they serve, including expanding access to care and centering health equity.
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 65 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, behavioral health and pharmacy services. 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.