By Patricia Blaisdell
California Hospital Association
SACRAMENTO- Hospital executives along with their staff and patients on Wednesday joined a bipartisan coalition of Democrat and Republican legislators, as well as county and labor leaders, at a press conference to support AB 900 (Alejo, D-Salinas), a CHA-sponsored bill. Citing California’s moral obligation to maintain the safety net for its most vulnerable residents, participants from around the state called on the Legislature to spare hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities from destructive Medi-Cal cuts. Attendees at the press conference saw first-hand how devastating the cuts would be to patients and their families, as well as both rural and urban communities, through CHA’s public advocacy video.
“It’s rare for Democrats and Republicans, from rural communities and large cities, to come together but this issue is too critical for partisan politics,” Assemblymember Alejo said. “AB 900 reverses devastating Medi-Cal cuts that were enacted in 2011 and that will be implemented in the next few months. For hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities, retroactive implementation of these cuts would be catastrophic for patients and their families, healthcare workers, hospitals and the communities they serve. We can’t let that happen. This issue is critical to all of California and cannot simply be ignored.”
Because of its impact on the state budget, AB 900 is considered an “urgency” bill and would take effect immediately if the Governor signs it into law by July 1. It will first be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 30. Alejo and others promised to raise awareness of the issue as attention shifts to the Governor’s May budget revision and subsequent deliberations to enact the 2013-14 state budget.
Steve Gold, Palomar Health's chief officer for post-acute care services, was among officials who attended the press conference on Wednesday. He may be reached by contacting Palomar Health's media relations manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 858.675.5018.