Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2019-2020 budget, which calls for critical and timely investments to address many of California’s long-standing health issues, is one that should be supported by all who care about the health of Californians.
Among the key proposals:
Mental Health Leadership Position — Support for a statewide mental health leadership position that can bring to bear a breadth of resources and focus on a long-standing and pervasive health concern. In addition, the governor will appoint a new Brain Health Task Force.
Behavioral Health — $100 million in additional resources for workforce training, the Whole Person Care Pilot Program that focuses on integrating mental and physical health, and increases in supportive and affordable housing.
Expanded Coverage — $260 million to expand Medi-Cal coverage to young adults through age 25, regardless of immigration status.
Medi-Cal Reimbursement — $3.2 billion, an increase of $900 million from last year, from tobacco tax revenues to increase payments to doctors and other clinicians who care for Medi-Cal patients, as well as investments in programs to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
The budget also supports two critical changes — requiring an individual mandate and expanding premium subsidy eligibility — so more Californians are covered.