Advocacy Alert

Support Continues to Grow for CHA-Sponsored 2016 Hospital Fee Ballot Initiative

More than 540 organizations and individuals, including the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Los Angeles County Business Federation, the East Bay Leadership Council and the Saban Community Clinic (formerly the Los Angeles Free Clinic), have endorsed CHA’s hospital fee ballot initiative. The measure, which will appear on the November 2016 ballot, will allow hospitals to continue accessing billions of dollars in federal funds to help pay for care provided to Medi-Cal patients.

A statewide campaign to enact the initiative is gearing up. One of the campaign’s key goals is to build a broad and extensive coalition of supporters across the state. To date, 171 hospitals, clinics and health care districts have endorsed the measure, as have 41 health care associations, 20 community-based organizations, 42 elected officials and 73 business organizations, with many more endorsements expected over the next few months. To assist in coalition-building activities, the campaign has launched a new website called “Keep A Good Idea Working.”

The website features informative videos, in-depth background information on the hospital fee, a list of coalition supporters, an endorsement form and a variety of news articles, infographics and research studies on the importance of the Medi-Cal program, which serves more than 12 million Californians. The full text of the initiative ballot language and an analysis of the measure by the Legislative Analyst’s Office also can be found on the website.

Since 2009, California hospitals have agreed to pay the state billions of dollars annually to draw down matching federal funds for the Medi-Cal program. Once the hospitals’ funds are matched with federal dollars, they are re-distributed to hospitals in the form of supplemental Medi-Cal payments. As part of the agreement, hospitals have supported the state taking a small portion of the fee money to pay for health care for children. The CHA-sponsored initiative will stabilize that contribution and ensure that funding intended to pay for Medi-Cal services is not diverted.

The current hospital fee program is set to expire in 2017. The ballot measure, if enacted by voters, will make the fee program permanent, thereby safeguarding continued access to health care services for children, seniors and low-income Californians.

CHA encourages all hospitals and health systems to formally endorse the initiative. For more information and to sign an endorsement form, visit www.KeepAGoodIdeaWorking.com.

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