Earlier this month, CHA joined a broad group of doctors, dentists, health plans, community health centers, and other health care groups to file a statewide ballot measure that aims to build on the historic investment that the governor and Legislature made earlier this year to provide greater support to Medi-Cal patients.
If successful, this measure would deliver an ongoing, annual infusion of significant resources for providers to care for people covered by Medi-Cal. At a time when state budgets nationwide are growing increasingly strained, passage of the measure would be a monumental win for patients.
If enough signatures can be collected, the Protect Access to Healthcare Act of 2024 would appear on the November 2024 ballot and would make permanent a tax on managed care organizations. The goal: ensuring that critical health care dollars stay in health care and patients have access to care for years to come by:
- Increasing funding for mental health programs that care for children and Medi-Cal patients
- Expanding access to health care for Medi-Cal patients, which will result in reduced emergency room usage and shortened wait times
- Enabling California to manufacture its own insulin and other prescription drugs at much lower prices
- Expanding California’s education and training pipeline for nurses, physician assistants, and medical assistants
For hospitals, it would mean between $2 billion and $3 billion annually in new resources to support care for patients covered by Medi-Cal. This will primarily be achieved by increasing reimbursement rates for Medi-Cal providers, some of which have not changed in decades. Across all Medi-Cal providers that this initiative would support, payments are projected to increase by more than $11 billion (including federal matching funds) as follows:
- Hospital and emergency department services: between $2 billion and $3 billion
- Primary care: over $3 billion
- Specialty care: around $3 billion
- Family planning: over $1 billion
- Other services: nearly $1.5 billion
As the measure advances through signature-gathering and other campaign phases, stay tuned for how you can support this important initiative. If you have any questions, email Ben Johnson at email@example.com.