Date: June 1, 2021
Contact: Jennifer Wonnacott, [email protected]
SACRAMENTO — Statement from Jodi Hicks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, on AB 32 (Aguiar-Curry) passing the Assembly floor on a 74-0 bipartisan vote today:
“Telehealth has maintained access to sexual and reproductive health care while keeping patients, providers, and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic – representing 25% of all Planned Parenthood visits in the state, more than half of which are audio visits — and will continue to be relied upon and desired long after the pandemic ends. Not only has telehealth become an integral part of California’s public health care system, it is critical to addressing the health disparities laid bare by COVID. Where you live, they type of phone you own or what type of insurance you have shouldn’t determine your ability to access health care. AB 32 is essential in Planned Parenthood’s work to continue to meet patients where they are and we applaud the Assembly for moving the bill forward today and thank Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry for her leadership.
“While AB 32 continues to advance with bipartisan support, we look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure the final budget reflects the same policies and does more to address the inequities in the system, rather than putting barriers back up to access. With the policies in AB 32 and adequate policies and investment in the state budget, we can continue to build a public health care system that advances equitable health care access.”
According to the California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP), coverage of telephone visits reduces transportation barriers to in-person care and increases health care options for patients, which would result in "equivalent or better outcomes (compared with in-person care) because they would no longer delay or avoid in-person visits because of travel difficulties." Furthermore, according to CHBRP, creating parity in telehealth access between Medi-Cal and commercial plans "would decrease income disparities in access to health care and health outcomes by reducing delays in in-person care for some conditions, as well as providing equal access to all modalities of care."
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California is a co-sponsor of AB 32.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.