The California Medical Association (CMA) and the Coalition to Protect Access to Care, a broad and diverse group of healthcare organizations, have filed a statewide ballot initiative with the California Attorney General’s office to expand access to healthcare for millions of Californians.
The initiative builds on the historic investment that the Governor and Legislature made earlier this year to dedicate additional funding to the Medi-Cal program. The Protect Access to Healthcare Act is critical to ensuring the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services for all Californians.
“Now more than ever, it is important that the 15 million Californians who rely on Medi-Cal for health coverage have access to care,” said CMA President Donaldo Hernandez, M.D. “Equally as important is ensuring that emergency room wait times are reduced for ALL Californians, that there is more funding for mental healthcare across the state and that we help reduce the cost of important prescription drugs.”
Specifically, the initiative will:
Make the Medi-Cal provider rate increases that were included in the 2023-24 state budget deal permanent for generations to come;
Expand access to healthcare for Medi-Cal patients, which will result in reduced emergency rooms usage, and shortening wait times for all Californians;
Increase funding for mental health programs that care for children and Medi-Cal patients; and
Enable California to manufacture its own insulin and other prescription drugs to increase affordability for Californians.
CMA's goal is to qualify the measure for the November 2024 ballot. In the coming months, CMA will be working closely with the other members of the coalition to gather the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed for the initiative to be placed on the ballot.
CMA will be reaching out to California physicians with opportunities to assist in these efforts. In the meantime, CMA is asking physicians to visit accesstohealthcareca.com for more information.