November 16, 2018 Edition

CHEAC Closed Next Thursday and Friday

CHEAC will be closed next Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will return to normal operations on Monday, November 26. CHEAC Staff wishes all a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Governor-Elect Newsom Announces First Key Appointments

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom late last week announced two key appointments to his incoming administration – Ann O’Leary has been named chief of staff and Ana Matosantos has been named cabinet secretary.

O’Leary was previously a senior policy adviser for the Clinton Administration, as well as a senior policy adviser for the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. She served as an adviser to President Barack Obama’s transition team on early childhood education issues and is the founding executive director of the UC Berkeley School of Law Center on Health, Economic, and Family Security. Matosantos was the director of the California Department of Finance for Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown; she left in 2014 to open her own consulting firm. Previously, she was a deputy legislative secretary and worked in the California Health and Human Services Agency and California State Senate.

Over the coming weeks and months, additional appointments will be announced by Governor-elect Newsom. Both O’Leary and Matosantos will be sworn in with Newsom and other staff appointees on January 7, 2019.

LAO Publishes 2019-20 Fiscal Outlook Report

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) on Wednesday published its report, “The 2019-20 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook,” which assesses the status of the state’s budget in anticipation of upcoming state budget process. The report finds that the state budget “is in remarkably good shape” and, using its revenues and spending estimates, determines the state’s constitutional reserve would reach $14.5 billion by the end of 2019-20. The LAO projects the Legislature will have nearly $15 billion in resources available to allocate in the 2019-20 budget process which can be used to build additional reserves or make new one-time and/or ongoing budget commitments.

The longer-term fiscal outlook for the state also remains positive. The LAO estimates that under an economic growth scenario, the state would have operating surpluses around $4.5 billion per year (though declining over time). Under a recession scenario, the state would have enough reserves to cover a budget problem if the Legislature used all its available resources in 2019-20 to build additional reserves.

The report includes a fiscal outlook specific to health and human services, among other areas. The LAO examines short-term and long-term impacts to Medi-Cal and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), assessing enrollment, program costs, and budgetary implications. In 2019-20, the LAO projects that state general fund spending will increase by 6.1 percent ($1.4 billion) for Medi-Cal. The LAO anticipates that Medi-Cal caseload will slightly decline due to the strong economic performance; however, the decline in caseload will be more than offset by the projected increase in Medi-Cal costs per enrollee due to increased utilization of services and increased prices paid by Medi-Cal. Gradual declines in the federal share for optional Medi-Cal expansion and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will cause increases in state general fund expenses.

The full LAO fiscal outlook report for 2019-20 is available here.

NACCHO Releases 2018 Forces of Change Report

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) this week released its 2018 Forces of Change Report which details the impact of the economy, public health investments, and other forces that have impacted LHDs throughout the country. This year’s report indicated that the economic situation is slowly improving for many LHDs, though one in five LHDs reported budget decreases from the previous fiscal year.

The report examines how decreased funding and constrained budgets limit the ability of LHDs to address emerging public health threats, including the opioid epidemic, increased severity of influenza seasons, infectious disease outbreaks, and impacts of climate change. LHDs continue to adapt to shifting priorities by moving to a population health approach and supporting health integration efforts through enhanced informatics capacity to better respond to health needs of communities. The full NACCHO 2018 Forces of Change Report is available here.

TFAH Health Equity Webinar Series Archive Now Available

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) this fall held a four-part webinar series, titled “Taking Action to Promote Health Equity: Using Lessons from Cutting-Edge Practices to Improve Health and Well-Being.” The webinars featured experts in public health, philanthropy, government, academia, advocacy, and non-profit and community-based organizations. The intent of the webinars was to inform a broad, national audience about compelling and replicable health equity initiatives, and the lessons learned are transferrable to all communities.

The full series recordings are available here. Specific segments are also available below: