CHA News Article

CHA-Sponsored Medi-Cal Initiative Draws Diverse Local Government Support

The Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act — CHA’s sponsored initiative that would allow hospitals to continue accessing billions of dollars in federal funds to help pay for care provided to Medi-Cal patients — has received broad support from local government. From Riverside County in the south to Marin County in the north, counties are among a growing list of local governments and elected officials that have officially expressed support for the November 2016 ballot initiative. Solano, Santa Cruz, Napa, Lake, and Kern Counties have endorsed the initiative, as well as the California State Association of Counties, Rural County Representatives of California and Urban Counties of California.

According to Solano County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Erin Hannigan, “Nearly 13 million California children, seniors and working families rely on Medi-Cal for their health care needs. The need to preserve and protect the funding for these vulnerable populations has never been greater.”

Lake County Board of Supervisors Chairman Rob Brown expressed a similar view. “Lake County has a large population of children and the elderly who depend on California’s Medi-Cal system for their health care needs,” Brown said. “It is important to our community that California receives the maximum federal dollars towards health care funding.”

In addition, the Act has been endorsed by a bipartisan range of elected leaders, including Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

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 hospital funds are matched with federal dollars, the monies 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 portion of the fee money to pay for health care for children. The initiative will stabilize that contribution and ensure that funding intended to pay for Medi-Cal services is not diverted. The current program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016. The initiative would make that program ongoing and adds extra protections to ensure the funds are used for Medi-Cal services.

For information on joining the coalition, visit the campaign’s website — www.KeepAGoodIdeaWorking.org. The site includes comprehensive news coverage and background on the measure, along with initiative language and analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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