State Budget includes essential investment in California’s Medi-Cal system at a time when COVID-19 rates are at an all-time high
SACRAMENTO – Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) supports the critical investments in California’s safety-net system outlined in Governor Newsom’s 2021-22 January State Budget proposal.
In addition to various COVID-19 relief efforts, PPAC supports the investments in safety-net health care access, including the maintaining of Proposition 56 supplemental payments for sexual and reproductive health care services in Family PACT and Medi-Cal. The proposal also includes continuing Medi-Cal services for eligible young adults— regardless of documentation—and postponing the previously scheduled cut to full scope Medi-Cal for new mothers with a mental health diagnosis.
“We’re pleased to see Governor Newsom’s budget invest in California’s safety-net system during a critical time in our state’s response to COVID-19,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “With the COVID-19 public health crisis disproportionately impacting Black and Brown people and overwhelming working families across the country and California, the need for immediate COVID-19 relief and expanded access to affordable care for all people is essential. Investing in Medi-Cal, including access to telehealth modalities, to support providers on the frontlines of this pandemic, and the many patients who are being dually impacted by COVID-19 and systemic racism, is a critical step in the fight for health equity.”
Proposition 56 rates are the backbone of Planned Parenthood affiliates’ ability to provide high-quality, affordable health care across over 100 health centers. The continuation of additional payments funded by Proposition 56 will help support timely access to quality health care for patients covered by Medi-Cal.
PPAC is also encouraged by the proposal to extend certain telehealth flexibilities that were established in 2020 as part of the public health emergency. The need for sexual and reproductive health care access doesn’t disappear in a pandemic, especially as California continues to confront an STI epidemic. In fact, the provision of sexual and reproductive health care services via telehealth at Planned Parenthood health centers has increased by more than 1,000 percent during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Over 25% percent of Planned Parenthood patients now receive care at Planned Parenthood via telehealth.
“However, while critical funding has been preserved to protect Medi-Cal, there remains much to do ensure health care in California is truly accessible and equitable,” concluded Hicks.
As the single, largest provider of Family PACT services, Planned Parenthood affiliates play a critical role in California’s public health system. Planned Parenthood’s health centers in California offer access to preventive and whole person care including birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, gender-affirming care, and abortion.
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.