Media Statement

Governor’s 2023-24 Budget Proposal Neglects to Meet Urgent Need for Support for Patients, Hospitals

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“California’s hospitals commend Gov. Newsom for his ongoing commitment to increasing access to health care in his proposed January budget, despite the state facing a more than $22 billion budget shortfall,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “The budget also must support the health care providers who care for patients day in and day out, regardless of their ability to pay. Hospitals across California are facing dire financial challenges as a result of inflationary pressures and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

“The Medi-Cal program has been underfunded for more than two decades, a significant factor that just this month led to the closure of Madera County’s only hospital. Now, Madera residents will have to travel as far away as Fresno, nearly 30 miles away, for emergency services, surgeries, and other critical health needs.” 

“Madera is only the latest victim of a multitude of financial calamities that continue to threaten hospitals throughout California,” Coyle said. “Hospitals across the state have lost more than $12 billion because of the pandemic, and skyrocketing inflation is driving up the cost of caring for patients every day. Since 2019, labor expenses for hospitals have spiked by 16%, while the costs of life-saving pharmaceuticals have grown by 41%, and medical supplies have jumped by 19%.” 

“We appreciate the commitment in the governor’s proposed budget to explore opportunities for increased funding to support the Medi-Cal program,” Coyle said. “We urge all lawmakers to prioritize the health care needs of those most at-risk in our state through an immediate, one-time infusion of funds to hospitals caring for Medi-Cal patients. Without this additional funding, more patients will find themselves in peril — similar to what is happening right now in Madera County.”