February 25, 2017 Edition
Next Thursday, the Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Health and Human Services, chaired by Senator Richard Pan will be hearing Department of Social Services items, including In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI). The Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services will hear IHSS on Wednesday, March 8.
CHEAC has taken an oppose position on the Governor’s elimination of CCI and the IHSS MOE, which would shift roughly $623 million in costs in 2017-18 from the state to counties. That amount is expected to grow to roughly $1.6 billion by 2022-23. A shift in costs of this magnitude would have adverse impacts on 1991 Realignment funds and particularly funding dedicated to public health and indigent health funding.
CHEAC has signed onto a coalition letter with CSAC and our other county partners. Both the coalition letter and the CHEAC opposition letter can be viewed on our budget advocacy page.
Additionally, CHEAC, CWDA, CBHDA and CSAC hosted a joint webinar on 1991 Realignment to provide a greater understanding of the interaction between CCI, IHSS and 1991 Realignment. A recording the webinar and the slides can be found here.
Today the CHEAC Legislative Committee held our first meeting of the year to review the first batch of introduced bills. A complete bill list with actions from today’s meeting will be forthcoming. A few bills are highlighted below:
Dental Health Services
AB 15 (Maienschein) as introduced on 12/6/16 – Support
Requires DHCS to increase reimbursement rates for the Denti-Cal program for the 15 most common prevention, treatment, and oral evaluation services to the regional average commercial rate.
Drug & Alcohol Services
AB 40 (Santiago) as introduced on 12/6/16– Support
Allows the CURES database to integrate with health information technology systems enabling better system integration.
SB 167 (Skinner) as introduced on 1/23/17– Support
Requires DSS to request a waiver to allow for the pre-enrollment of otherwise eligible CalFresh applicants up to one month prior to the applicant’s re-entry from county jail or state prison. Requires the Department of Corrections Secretary to establish an MOU with the federal Social Security Administration to allow an incarcerated person to apply for and receive a replacement social security card and to allow the SSA to process SSI claims under the prerelease program.
SB 222 (Hernandez) as introduced on 2/2/17– Support
Would change the length of time an incarcerated Medi-Cal beneficiary’s benefits can be suspended from one-year to the length of incarceration. The measure is sponsored by County Welfare Directors Association and the Californians for Safety and Justice.
AB 62 (Wood) as introduced on 2/7/17– Support
Would require public housing authorities to implement policies to prohibit the smoking of tobacco products in living units, interior areas and outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings. This is consistent with federal rules released last year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but uses California’s definition of smoking, which includes electronic cigarettes and vaping.
NACCHO Executive Director, Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, resigned from his position earlier this week. As the NACCHO Board of Directors searches for a replacement, William M. Barnes, PhD, MBA, will serve as the organization’s Acting Executive Director.
Federal Action Update
On Wednesday, NACCHO hosted a Federal Action Update webinar that discussed the current state of affairs for public health in Washington, DC, prepared local health department staff to engage with their congressional members and staff, and discussed messaging and communications strategies. The webinar was recorded (link above) and slides can be found here.
The Legislative Analyst recently released a report providing an overview of the Governor’s proposals on implementing Proposition 56, the tobacco tax voters passed last year. They note that the Governor’s budget and allocation of increased tobacco revenues is reasonable and generally consistent with the requirements laid out in the initiative. Furthermore, they also weigh in on the controversy of the use of these funds in the Medi-Cal program (rather than increase provider rates as proponents had intended with these increased revenues) noting only that case law is thin on issues of supplantation regarding initiative raised revenues. And finally, they briefly discuss that if state revenues are more robust in May, the Legislature may have more flexibility in how to spend Medi-Cal revenues.