On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, ACHD, along with tens of thousands of attendees, took part in the “We Care for California” rally, at which attendees urged Governor Brown to support AB 900 (Alejo), a measure that will prevent $1 billion in cuts to the Medi-Cal program. A coalition of Healthcare Districts, health insurance firms (Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California), medical professional associations (California Hospital Association and the California Medical Association), and thousands of workers and patients came to Sacramento to protest further cuts to hospitals and clinics.
Speakers at the rally included Sharon Spurgeon, Chief Executive Officer of Coalinga Hospital District. She detailed the impact of the Medi-Cal cuts to the residents of the District. Also in attendance were Charlie Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of Mountain Community Healthcare District and Matt Rees, Chief Executive Officer of Mayers Memorial Hospital District.
A handful of lawmakers rallied in support of AB 900 and pledged to fight for hospitals and patients, including:
- Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)
- Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)
- Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento)
- Assemblymember Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa)
- Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced)
- Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)
- Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena)
- Assemblymember Donald Wagner (R-Irvine)
- Assemblymember Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside)
- Assemblymember Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park)
- Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo)
- Assemblymember Dan Logue (R-Marysville)
- Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton)
AB 900 passed out of the Assembly last week and will now be heard by the Senate. AB 900 is crucial to fighting the Governor’s plan to implement a 10% reduction that has been ensnared in a court fight since its approval in 2011.
Despite the state's improved financial outlook, the Governor’s budget still includes the 10%, or roughly $1 billion per year in Medi-Cal provider rate cuts. If the state moves forward with these cuts, access to care will be devastated, not only for existing Medi-Cal patients, but also for the millions of patients that will be newly eligible for Medi-Cal under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. It is important that AB 900 is signed by the Governor to maintain access to health care in California’s most underserved communities.
View photos from the “We Care for California” event:
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