SACRAMENTO – Today, the Legislative Analysis Office (LAO) released a fiscal outlook that included positive news for safety-net providers: the recommendation that Proposition 56 funds stay whole. While the State continues to face a worsening public health crisis and compounding economic challenges, the news that the LAO recommends maintaining current levels of Proposition 56 funding would mean safety-net providers, like Planned Parenthood, could continue to provide high-quality, affordable health care in California.
Statement from Jodi Hicks, President/CEO, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California:
The Legislative Analysts’ Office recommendation to keep Proposition 56 funds whole offers a glimmer of hope amidst a litany of state crises. It means providers on the front lines of the pandemic can begin to imagine an immediate future without disastrous cuts to health care.
“Like so many other safety-net providers in California, Proposition 56 funds are the backbone of Planned Parenthood’s ability to keep health center doors open and provide the critical health care services Californians need and deserve, especially in a pandemic. We know the need for critical, life-saving health care doesn’t disappear during a pandemic or a recession—access to sexual and reproductive health care, now more than ever, is essential, time-sensitive, and cannot wait.
“We thank Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins for prioritizing investment in California’s safety-net programs through continuing Proposition 56 funds, and look forward to working with her office to create a more equitable and accessible health care system. Between now and the release of the Governor’s January Budget, we hope the Governor’s Office will share that same understanding of the critical nature of Proposition 56 funds, so that the State Budget isn’t balanced on the very backs of safety-net providers and patients who are already being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, systemic racism, and an economic recession. The time is now for continued investment in California’s safety-net providers—not less.
Proposition 56, passed in 2016, created the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Healthcare Treatment Fund to address the health needs of low-income Californians by improving timely access, limiting geographic shortages of services, and ensuring quality care. The 2017-18 and 2018-19 state budgets allocated up to $50 million from the Fund for “Women’s Health Services,” including abortion care and Family PACT office visits. In 2019, the Legislature allocated an additional $50 million in supplemental reimbursement rates for family planning services.
Family planning services currently receive an enhanced federal match of 9:1 to encourage access to those services, which is the highest federal match rate for any type of service in California. These allocations of Proposition 56 funds to sexual and reproductive health care have been the primary reason Planned Parenthood’s health centers have been able to remain open after years of compounding budgetary challenges.
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.