Friday, December 15, 2017

OCMA Blog

California Physicians Oppose Graham-Cassidy Repeal Bill

The U.S. Senate is currently considering the Graham-Cassidy block grant bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance mandate, underfund health insurance subsidies and make drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. Under the bill, traditional Medicaid funding would be capped. Medicaid expansion and ACA subsidies for low- and middle-income families would be subject to an underfunded block grant and phased out in 2027. This bill would be disproportionately harmful to states like California, which embraced Medicaid expansion and increased coverage under the ACA. 

In response, the California Medical Association (CMA), representing over 43,000 physicians in all specialties and modes of practice, called on the California Congressional Delegation to oppose this bill. Congress should work with health care professionals to craft legislation that increases patient access to health care and maintains coverage for the more than 15 million Californians insured through Medi-Cal and Covered California.
  

“This bill would significantly reduce Medicaid funding, which provides health coverage for more than 13 million Californians,” said CMA President Ruth Haskins, M.D. “A vote for this legislation is a vote to deteriorate public health in California – especially in areas like the Central Valley, where approximately half of the population relies on Medicaid for health care.”  Patients without coverage seek more expensive care in overcrowded emergency rooms, passing costs on to states, counties, health care providers and taxpayers. These problems would be exacerbated by the reduction of subsidies currently provided to poor and middle class families. The Graham-Cassidy bill also allows states to do away with pre-existing condition protections and other essential health benefits that keep Americans healthy.  

“Congress should engage with physicians and other medical experts on the front lines caring for patients to develop legislation that improves patient access to physicians, protects coverage for our most vulnerable populations and addresses affordability,” said Dr. Haskins.


Honoring the Work of the Waste Not OC Coalition

Today, in the House of Representatives, Congressman Lou Correa honored the work of the Waste Not OC Coalition.  His full speech can be read by clicking here


NEPO to host Building Healthy Communities Summit Oct. 19-20

The Network of Ethnic Physician Organization (NEPO) Building Healthy Communities Summit is taking place immediately before the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates on October 19-20, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. This year’s conference theme – “Striving for Health Equity in the Era of Change" – will focus on emerging health policy issues and solutions as we strive to achieve health equity and reduce health disparities.

The summit agenda will include a thought-provoking array of plenary sessions and workshops. Attendees will hear from nationally acclaimed thought leaders, learn about emerging health care policy issues and share best practices on how to reduce health disparities.

“Building healthier communities is a key component of what community physicians are all about,” said NEPO Chair Margaret Juarez, M.D. “The NEPO Summit helps physicians and health care providers connect to work with organizations across the state to make California healthier for all.”

This annual symposium has drawn an increasing crowd of motivated physicians, interested in advancing their expertise in health policy as an adjunct to their practice of medicine. Featuring keynote addresses by Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO of the California Endowment, and Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), the NEPO Summit will provide you with opportunities to network with policymakers, health care advocates and thought leaders, alongside breakout sessions on topics as diverse as the impact of immigration laws on health care, physician mental health, and addressing maternal morbidity and mortality.

Register by September 15 to take advantage of the early-bird rate of $199. Participants can earn up to 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ of continuing medical education.

For more information or to register, click here


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