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CMA (& LACMA) Applauds Gov. Newsom's Increased Investments to Expand Health Care Access

CMA (& LACMA) Applauds Gov. Newsom's Increased Investments to Expand Health Care Access

This article was originally published on the CMA website

The California Medical Association (CMA) praised Governor Gavin Newsom's revised state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year for dedicating additional resources to bolster the state's Medi-Cal program and expand access to care for low-income residents.

Newsom's budget includes additional investments from both the state's general fund and Proposition 56 revenues to improve and increase the state's health care workforce and expand access to care for patients living in medically underserved communities.

In all, Newsom's budget includes more than $600 million to meet California's future health care workforce needs. This includes a one-time allocation of $120 million in additional funds for the state's new loan repayment program, CalHealthCares, which offers money to repay educational debt for physicians and dentists who agree to practice in underserved communities and see a higher number of Medi-Cal patients. The new money brings the state's total investment in the loan repayment program to $340 million.

"Once again, Gov. Newsom has shown that increasing access to quality health care is a top priority for his administration," said CMA President David H. Aizuss, M.D. "The additional funding for the loan repayment program will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal patients in medically underserved communities to see a physician or a dentist."

In addition, Newsom's budget uses one-time money within Prop 56 to fund the following programs:

  • $70 million in additional one-time funding for the Value-Based Payments program, specifically for behavioral health integration. This brings the total allocation for Value-Based Payments to $250 million available for the program over the next several years.
  • $25 million in 2019-20 ($60 million over three years) to train providers to conduct the trauma screenings that were proposed in the Governor's budget.

The May Revision also reaffirms the governor's commitment to the state level individual health care mandate by providing more than $295 million in General Fund dollars to pay for premium subsidies for low- and middle-income residents.