Statement on Governor Brown’s proposed 2016-17 state budget:
Under Governor Brown’s leadership, California has won widespread praise for the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of health care coverage to millions more Californians under the Medi-Cal program, paid for almost entirely by the federal government. The state added more than three million members to the Medi-Cal program and now one in three Californians are covered by this state/federal health care program. There is a lot for which to be proud.
At the same time, we can’t help but be disappointed that the Governor did not take the opportunity to invest in Medi-Cal through reimbursement rates paid to health care providers like Planned Parenthood. We are still dealing with ongoing and detrimental cuts in these reimbursement rates that were adopted during the state’s great recession in 2011. The state’s finances have stabilized and not reversing these cuts now continues to hurt patients and punish providers.
While we appreciate the governor’s commitment to holding down spending and planning for the next economic downturn, the recession is over. Increases in revenues now provide an opportunity for the state to make wise investments in the infrastructure of the health care program that serves more than 12 million Californians. California remains 49th in the nation in what it reimburses Medi-Cal providers like Planned Parenthood.
We applaud Governor Brown and the administration for including $182 million to provide Medi-Cal health care to the state’s 170,000 undocumented children, a wise investment and the right thing to do.
Planned Parenthood also urges approval of the MCO tax extension to ensure the continuation of $1 billion in state and federal funding for the state’s Medi-Cal program.