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August 14, 2017

President Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

“We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” said President Trump on Thursday, accepting the recommendation of the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis by declaring a national emergency. The president’s surprise announcement came two days after Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway discussed the Commission’s interim report in a press conference, vowing to devote resources to combat the epidemic, but stopped short of an emergency declaration.  Declaring the crisis an emergency is expected to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery outcomes by directing and mobilizing additional resources to address addiction; however, the specifics are not yet clear.

The bipartisan Commission, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, provided additional recommendations which include increasing treatment capacity for those living with addiction and better educating prescribers about the potential for abuse. There are currently six states that have already declared the opioid crisis an emergency, responding by directing funding to medication-assisted treatment programs, tightening prescribing rules, and allowing broader access to naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug. A national declaration may result in similar actions being taken at the federal level.  

Resources for Meeting with Representatives Over Congressional Recess

NACCHO’s most recent Action Alert provided an advocacy toolkit and asked for leadership in sharing information with representatives, as the fiscal year ends on September 30 and congress will need to make decisions about funding priorities impacting community health. Members of Congress will be adjourned until September 5. During the recess, members are more likely to be in their districts, giving you more opportunities to meet with your representative. Here are some additional NACCHO resources for public health advocacy:

State Lawmakers Return to Sacramento Next Week

California’s Senators and Assemblymembers have been on recess since July 21 and will return to Sacramento next Monday. Once lawmakers arrive, they will be met with a series of quickly approaching bill deadlines until September 15, when the first-year of the two-year legislative session comes to an end. 

August 7, 2017

Assembly Speaker Rendon Faces Recall Effort After Tabling Single-Payer Healthcare Bill

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is now facing recall efforts following his decision to table SB 562 (Lara and Atkins), which would have made California the “single-payer” for healthcare services in the state. SB 562 was passed by the Senate, despite having an unclear path to fund its estimated $400 billion cost – an amount larger than our state’s budget. At the time, many progressive senators were conflicted, as they acknowledged the bill’s infeasibility while defending their conceptual support for single-payer healthcare. The majority of senators voted in support of SB 562 as a gesture to continue the single-payer conversation, thereby leaving members of the Assembly to develop a funding solution to a bill that is essentially seen by both Democrats and Republicans as being fiscally unworkable.

Importantly, single-payer healthcare has become something of a litmus test for California Democrats, who fear the optics of voting against providing everyone with health coverage. With no solution for funding, Speaker Rendon decided to table the enormously expensive proposal, shielding members of the Assembly from publicly voicing their concerns to the popular, yet impractical, SB 562. He alone now faces the consequences of saying “no.”

It is still uncertain how serious of a threat the recall challenge will turn out to be. Organizers will need to collect more than 20,000 signatures to hold a recall. Speaker Rendon has more than $1 million in campaign accounts and claimed landslide victories in his last three elections.

White House Opioid Commission Recommends State of Emergency

President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, established in late March and led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, provided an interim report last week examining and recommending solutions to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. The interim report urges the president to declare a national emergency either under the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act and shares many startling facts about the severity of the epidemic, most notably acknowledging the number of Americans dying every day from accidental overdose is “equal to September 11th every three weeks.” The Commission argues the president’s declaration would empower his administration with the resources to handle the crisis, noting that “if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.” President Trump is still considering the Commission’s recommendations.

Communicate with Members of Congress Back Home 

(From NACCHO’s News from Washington) The House and Senate are on recess until Labor Day. This is your opportunity to meet with policymakers back home and communicate with them about public health issues in your community. NACCHO has provided an advocacy toolkit that gives you guidance about how to communicate with policy makers and offers talking points, sample meeting request letters and sample factsheets.

July 31, 2017

Lawmaker Education Week and Fall CME Activity

This October’s Continuing Medical Education activity will focus on public health law and policy. Among other things, the fall conference will prepare health officers to build relationships with elected leaders and become stronger public health advocates for their communities. HOAC staff will be organizing a Lawmaker Education Week for health officers to engage and share information with their community’s elected representatives. Planning will take place throughout the fall, and the week itself will begin Monday, October 23.

US Climate and Health Alliance Launches State Policy Initiative

The US Climate and Health Alliance has launched the State Policy Initiative, which provides many tools to help public health leaders become more influential advocates for state and local climate policy. The site includes reference materials and other information that may be helpful in discussing the health aspects of climate change with policymakers. 

Senate Republicans Fail to Repeal Affordable Care Act

After failing to pass “repeal and replace” and “repeal only,” the US Senate rejected a scaled-down plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the early hours of Friday Morning. The Health Care Freedom Act, also called a “skinny repeal,” would have repealed the ACA’s individual and employer mandates, among other provisions, and was estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to increase the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million. With Senate Democrats being joined by three Republican senators in voting against the skinny repeal, Republican efforts to dismantle one of President Obama’s crown achievements appear to be derailed. For the foreseeable future, ACA is here to stay, as it is unclear how House and Senate Republicans can move forward, though the president has declared his intent to “let Obamacare fail.”

Legislature Adjourned

State lawmakers are adjourned for the summer and will reconvene the legislative session on August 21.

July 24, 2017

U.S. Senate May Vote on Healthcare as Early as Tomorrow

After months of debating and planning, the Senate majority leader is expected to take up the House-approved bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as early as tomorrow. Though the House bill is not likely to pass the Senate, if Senator Mitch McConnell can reach the 50 votes needed to begin debate on the House bill, he can move to repeal ACA without a replacement – an amendment that would be unlikely to pass, though being suggested by a handful of Republican lawmakers. If the amendment fails, Senator McConnell could move to replace the House-approved bill with the version developed by a group 13 Republican senators – all men – tasked with making the GOP’s plan to repeal ACA more palatable, not just to the public, but to their colleagues. The repeal effort would be considered as a budgetary item, which limits debate, prohibits a filibuster, and will allow its passage with a simple majority vote. As of now, the Senate appears to be short of the votes. With 52 of the Senate’s 100 members being Republicans, Senator McConnell can only afford to lose two votes – one if Senator John McCain, who announced last week that he was diagnosed with brain cancer, is absent.

California Budget & Policy Center Begins Series Examining the Feasibility of Single-Payer Healthcare  

In the first post of a new series, the California Budget & Policy Center provided an excellent analysis of a prospective single-payer healthcare system in California. In light of SB 562 (Lara and Atkins), the single-payer bill that was approved by the Senate and stalled in the Assembly, their analysis also provides a thoughtful overview of the challenges that resulted in the bill’s demise.

STEM Trained Candidates Seeking Public Office in Age of Trump

With the help of a new nonprofit political action committee called 314 Action, many scientists are considering a run for public office. As the Trump administration and Republican-led congress propose numerous cuts to science programs across the country, the “lab coat liberals,” as they’ve been called, are seeking to fight back by running for local, state, and federal offices. Going from scientist to politician, groups of STEM trained candidates are running with a commitment to protect research funding and pledge to aggressively advocate for evidence-based policy in areas where scientific evidence is disputed. Read more about the movement here.

California Legislature Adjourns for Summer Recess

State lawmakers officially adjourned for the summer on Friday. They will reconvene on August 21, when they will begin the final stretch of this legislative-year, which ends on September 15. 

July 17, 2017

U.S. Senate Postpones Action on Healthcare

Senate Republicans released their revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA), their Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement, on Thursday. The draft was met with continued concern or opposition from nine Republican senators, most serving states that expanded Medicaid under ACA and saw a reduction in the uninsured population, who worry about the impact cuts to Medicaid, among other provisions, will have on vulnerable constituents.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) previously estimated that the $772 billion in cuts would result in 22 million fewer people would having Medicaid coverage. Expecting a new CBO analysis on the revised bill to be released today, Republican leadership was looking to move BRCA forward as early as tomorrow. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that the Senate will postpone action on their healthcare reform bill, giving time for Senator John McCain to recover from a medical procedure. The delay also gives more time for opposition to organize.

Currently, two Republican senators – Susan Collins and Rand Paul – are expected to join their 48 Democratic colleagues in voting against the bill. Proponents of BRCA will need the 50 remaining Senate Republicans in support. A 50-50 count in the Senate would allow Vice President Mike Pence to cast the deciding vote.

California Legislative Deadlines

State lawmakers on Friday had to meet a legislative deadline requiring most bills to be acted on by a policy committee. The two HOAC supported bills listed below were not heard by Friday’s deadline. They are inactive for the year and can move forward again in 2018.
  • AB 62 (Wood), a bill to prohibit the use of tobacco products in public housing units. 
  • SB 210 (Leyva), which would require schools to take steps to ensure pupils have access to safe drinking water that is free of contamination from lead and other sources. 

The State Senate and Assembly will adjourn for Summer Recess on Friday, reconvening on August 21.

July 10, 2017

AB 511 (Arambula) Now a Two-Year Bill

HOAC’s sponsored bill to update TB screening requirements, AB 511 (Arambula), will be held in the Senate Health Committee for the rest of the year. AB 511 will now be a two-year bill, eligible to move forward again in January of 2018. In the meantime, HOAC will be asking health officers to include support of AB 511 in their county legislative platforms. We will be reaching out to other potential supporters, and may work on amending the bill.

HOAC would like to thank all the health officers, TB controllers, and others who have worked hard to craft language, testify, and meet with elected officials. Your voice has been essential in moving the bill this far. Regardless of what happens moving forward, we can be proud that we got AB 511 out of the Assembly without any “no” votes, in spite of vocal opposition led by the California Nurses Association. 

Academic Consortium Studying SB 277

Health officers will soon receive an interview request from an academic consortium studying the outcomes of 2015’s SB 277, the bill to remove the personal belief exemption to vaccines. The study is being conducted by a team representing Emory University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and Northern California Kaiser Permanente in collaboration with HOAC. They will be asking about how your county has worked with schools and any challenges you’ve faced. Please expect to see an e-mail from HOAC staff.

July 3, 2017

Update on Opposed/Opposed Unless Amended Legislation

Since the start of the 2017/18 Legislative Session, HOAC has taken oppose or oppose until amended positions on seven bills. So far, we have achieved our desired outcome on all but one of these bills – SB 384 (Wiener), which would allow localities to extend the hours of sale for alcohol by two hours, and is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization this Wednesday.

HOAC’s legislative program has taken great strides this year in forming an internal Legislative Committee, which has allowed health officers to more expediently share expertise with our lawmakers. The committee has also allowed health officers to evaluate even more legislative items, resulting in HOAC taking about twice as many positions on legislative items than we did at this time in the 2016/17 Legislative Session.


President Trump Nominates Indiana Health Officer as U.S. Surgeon General

The White House announced on Thursday that President Trump has nominated Jerome Adams, MD, MPH to serve as Surgeon General of the Untates. Adams has served as Indiana’s health commissioner – a position equivalent to California’s health officer – since 2014 and is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. As Indiana’s top-doc, Adams worked under then-governor Mike Pence in 2015 to implement a needle-exchange program in response to an HIV outbreak among needle-sharing oxymorphone users in Scott County, a rural area in Southeast Indiana.

The 2015 outbreak, which left nearly 200 people HIV-positive, was unprecedented in Indiana and is considered a defining moment of Pence’s tenure as governor. In 2013, Scott County’s Planned Parenthood – the only HIV testing center available to the county’s 24,000 residents – was closed during Pence’s first year as governor. Opioid addiction and IV drug use has long been a critical challenge to Scott County, where about 20 percent of residents live below the poverty line, and the clinic’s closure greatly hindered the rural community’s access to HIV testing and prevention services. The lack of accessible resources coupled with the high rates of needle-sharing among drug users aided a community-wide HIV outbreak that, at its height, resulted in 20 new infections each week.

Health officials identified an HIV outbreak in Southeast Indiana by January 2015. At the time, both Adams and Pence, a steadfast evangelical conservative, shared moral concerns over initiating a needle-exchange program (in Indiana, it is illegal to possess a syringe without a prescription). However, by March 2015, the number of infections continued to rise, and Adams became a leading voice in encouraging Pence to authorize the exchange. In light of new information and mounting political pressure, Pence reversed his position and issued an executive order that allowed for the distribution of thousands of syringes. The exchange program, along with aggressive outreach, was successful in slowing HIV infection rates to a trickle.

As an anesthesiologist and academic, Adams has research interests in pain management and opioid addiction. Adams once revealed in his testimony during a House committee hearing that his brother is living with addiction, and has been an outspoken advocate for increasing the accessibility of naloxone, a lifesaving overdose reversal medication. If confirmed, Adams would replace Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, who was asked by President Trump to resign his post as Surgeon General in April.

Better Care Reconciliation Act Would Eliminate Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2018

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate Republican healthcare proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, proposes eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund next year. The Fund makes up 12 percent ($900 million) of the CDC’s budget. Additionally, local and state health departments receive more than $620 million annually through the Fund for various programs.
Senate Republican leaders were hopeful they could pass BCRA before adjourning for Independence Day, however a handful of the Senate’s Republicans have indicated their opposition to the bill – interestingly, some think the proposal goes too far, and others think it doesn't go far enough. Appearing to have fallen short of the 50 votes needed, Senate Republican leaders agreed to act on BCRA after the July 4 holiday.

June 26, 2017

HOAC Sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) Stalls in Senate Health

I don’t think I’ve ever written an opinion piece in one of our weekly updates, but I’m eager to share some thoughts after what unfolded at last week’s AB 511 (Arambula) hearing. Our sponsored TB control legislation was a hotly debated item in the Senate Health Committee last Wednesday. The committee spent over an hour hearing testimony on AB 511, but before I go further in updating you on its outcome, I want to first express HOAC’s gratitude for Dr. Louise McNitt, who served as an expert witness in support of the bill. Throughout the hearing, she was a fearless defender of evidence-based public health policy. It takes a lot to go before a committee and field tough questions in a highly contentious environment, like the one we encountered last week. HOAC cannot be thankful enough for her expertise and leadership in Wednesday’s hearing.

As we’ve shared in past updates, AB 511 is facing strong opposition from the California Nurses Association. However, there was a shift in the tone of CNA’s opposition from previous hearings – they likely think Senate Health is their best chance to kill AB 511 and have taken their opposition to new highs (or lows?). You can view the AB 511 hearing at Digital Democracy. CNA’s often disrespectful testimony showed little regard for intellectual honesty or professional courtesy, referring to the bill’s author, a physician specialized in emergency medicine, as “Mr. Arambula” before beginning a slanderous attack on the integrity of public health officers. CNA misleadingly characterized TB risk-assessment as a veiled attempt for our members to “shift emphasis” from public health to cost-savings. They implied that HOAC was aiming to "segregate" populations based on TB risk, an offensive remark on many levels. However, they dodged many questions requiring TB expertise with a phrase like “ask them, they’re the experts.”

Ultimately, AB 511 was not taken up for a vote last week. Opponents created a lot of confusion around the bill and it became clear committee members needed more time to understand the issue at-hand. Rather than risk not having the votes, which would kill the bill right then and there, the decision was made to postpone the vote for a week or two. This gives us time to respond in more detail to the specific and complex questions asked by committee members. With that said, the confusion around this bill has created an opportunity for your expertise to be of incredible value to members of the Senate Health Committee. By suggesting in committee that we postpone the vote, these senators have indicated their need and sincere willingness to learn from you.

Senate Republicans Reveal ACA Replacement

Republican leaders in the Senate revealed the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), their attempt at a more palatable version of the Affordable Health Care Act narrowly passed by the House in early-May. Senate Republicans are hopeful they can vote on the bill before the July 4th recess. Here is some of the key information:

  • Cumulatively cuts billions in funding to the Public Health and Prevention Fund
  • Converts Medicaid to a per capita cap model
  • Eliminates individual and employer mandates
  • Eliminates Essential Health Benefit provisions
  • Defunds Planned Parenthood
  • Allows states to enact work requirements to receive Medicaid benefits, exempting disabled, elderly, and pregnant women
  • Authorizes $2 billion to support substance use treatment and recovery
  • Congressional Budget Office estimates number of uninsured will increase by 15 million, while reducing the federal deficit by $321 billion by 2026.
  • Provides $10 billion in safety net funding for non-expansion states
  • Results in 16 percent drop in Medicaid enrollment

BCRA can be passed by a simple majority. The Senate’s 100 members are comprised of 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents who caucus with Democrats. No Democrats are expected to vote for the bill and 5 Republicans have already expressed their opposition. However, there is still time for Senate Republicans to iron out the issues keeping at least 2 of their colleagues from supporting their proposed ACA replacement. With the count being so close, there is a chance Vice President Pence would get to cast the tie-breaking vote.

California Single-Payer Health Proposal Gets Shelved in the Assembly

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon made the call to shelve SB 562 (Lara and Atkins), a bill to establish a single-payer healthcare system in California. SB 562 passed the Senate, but did not advance to a policy committee in the Assembly, with Speaker Rendon calling the bill “woefully incomplete.” Many senators who voted for the bill did so while also acknowledging the difficult challenges – most notably its price tag – that would need to be resolved in the Assembly. Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, the bill’s authors, issued a joint statement expressing disappointment that the “robust debate about healthcare for all… won’t continue in the Assembly.” The authors insist “this issue is not going away.” We are in the first-year of a two-year legislative session, so SB 562 may be acted on in 2018.


June 19, 2017

Call to Action: Senate Health Will Hear HOAC Sponsored TB Control Legislation

Members of the Senate Health Committee will hear HOAC’s sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) on Wednesday. Our bill would build on previous legislative accomplishments to replace mandated TB testing of certain low-risk populations with risk assessment screening and targeted testing, as recommended by the CDC, CDPH, and other expert public health bodies. AB 511 passed the Assembly despite facing strong opposition, which has since grown. HOAC calls on your leadership to challenge this opposition by educating Senators about the best TB control practices, which do not include universally testing low-risk populations.

If you can take a moment to share your knowledge with a lawmaker or their staff, members of the Senate Health Committee would benefit from your input. Contact information for members of this committee is listed below and I would be happy to provide talking points, a fact sheet, or any other materials that would be helpful in guiding your discussions.

Senate Committee on Health
State LegislatorPartyPhone NumberCounties Served
Connie LeyvaD916-651-4020Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Ed Hernandez (Chair)D916-651-4022Los Angeles
Holly MitchellD916-651-4030Los Angeles
Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair)R916-651-4034Orange
Jim NielsenR916-651-4004Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba
Josh NewmanD916-651-4029Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
Richard RothD916-651-4031Riverside
Toni AtkinsD916-651-4039San Diego

Legislator Party Phone Counties Served
Connie Leyva D 916-651-4020 Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Ed Hernandez (Chair) D 916-651-4022 Los Angeles
Holly Mitchell D 916-651-4030 Los Angeles
Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair) R 916-651-4034 Orange
Jim Nielsen R 916-651-4004 Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba
Josh Newman D 916-651-4029 Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
Richard Roth D 916-651-4031 Riverside
Toni Atkins D 916-651-4039 San Diego
William Monning D 916-651-4017 Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz

California Lawmakers Approve Budget

The budget was passed on Thursday, marking the seventh straight year California’s lawmakers have approved a budget before the deadline. At more than $183 billion, the state’s largest to date, this year’s budget is filled with what Governor Brown has called “progressive priorities,” which include funds for after-school programs, students attending CSUs and UCs, and low-income people through the Earned Income Tax Credit, among other priorities you can read a bit more about here. Though the budget was passed on time, it was not done so without the usual heated negotiations between legislators and the governor’s administration. Much of this year’s contention focused on the allocation of Prop. 56 (tobacco tax) revenues, which generated $1.3 billion. Under the budget, many of these dollars will go toward increasing reimbursement rates for healthcare providers treating Medi-Cal patients.

US Senate to Vote on AHCA

After a failed attempt to whip the votes earlier this year, the House narrowly passed the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) last month. The version of AHCA passed by the House has proven controversial for many reasons, not the least of which is a provision that would allow insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. Interestingly, the New York Times reports a poll showing the AHCA does not enjoy a plurality of support from voters in a single state. In fact, when polled, the AHCA is the least popular piece of legislation considered by Congress in decades – even less popular than the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is pejoratively called “the bailout.”
Importantly, the version of AHCA passed by the House was done so with an expectation that it would be revamped in the Senate. However, to avoid intense public scrutiny over the bill’s contents, Republican Senators officially tasked with rewriting AHCA – none of whom are women – have shared little about the bill’s contents, leading Democratic Senators to call on their Republican colleagues to hold public hearings. Though the public is largely unaware of its contents, architects of AHCA are hoping they will have enough support to pass the bill by July 4, before lawmakers adjourn for the summer.

As part of the 2017 federal budget process, the AHCA can pass the Senate with a simple majority of votes, which would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act that are within the scope of the budget. This would include eliminating individual and employer mandates, as well as various taxes.


June 12, 2017

Senate Health Schedules Hearing for HOAC Sponsored TB Control Legislation
Members of the Senate Health Committee will hear HOAC’s sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) on June 21. Our bill would build on previous legislative accomplishments to replace mandated TB testing of certain low-risk populations with risk assessment screening and targeted testing, as recommended by the CDC, CDPH, and other expert public health bodies. AB 511 passed the Assembly, despite facing strong opposition from the California Nurses Association. We must now call on your help to overcome this opposition by educating Senators about the best TB control practices, which do not include universally testing low-risk populations.

If you can share this knowledge with a lawmaker or their staff, members of the Senate Health Committee would benefit from your input. Contact information for members of this committee is listed below and I would be happy to provide talking points, a fact sheet, or any other information on AB 511 to those interested.
 
Legislator Party Phone Counties Served
Connie Leyva D 916-651-4020 Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Ed Hernandez (Chair) D 916-651-4022 Los Angeles
Holly Mitchell D 916-651-4030 Los Angeles
Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair) R 916-651-4034 Orange
Jim Nielsen R 916-651-4004 Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba
Josh Newman D 916-651-4029 Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
Richard Roth D 916-651-4031 Riverside
Toni Atkins D 916-651-4039 San Diego
William Monning D 916-651-4017 Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz

Partial California Budget Deal Reached Thursday Night: Tobacco Tax Allocation Remains Outstanding Issue

The Democratic majority in the legislature and Governor Brown have reached a partial deal for the 2017/18 FY State Budget, increasing funds for after-school programs, providing money for in-state students attending CSUs and UCs, preserving the Middle-Class Scholarship, restoring adult dental and optical services under Med-Cal, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income people, and funding dam safety and emergency flood projects. However, no agreement was reached on allocating Proposition 56 (tobacco tax) revenues. The additional $2 per pack of cigarette tax hike approved by voters in 2016 generated $1.3 billion. Governor Brown has proposed using the money to increase spending on the Medi-Cal program, while many legislators – along with the medical and dental lobbies – contend these revenues should fund increases in reimbursement rates for physicians and dentists who treat Medi-Cal patients.

Legislators will have until midnight on June 15 to finalize their negotiations with the governor and pass a budget.

June 5, 2017

California Senate Passes Single-Payer Health Bill

The Senate narrowly approved AB 562 (Lara and Atkins) by a 23-14 vote, with members on both sides of the aisle rising to speak against the bill for lacking a clear funding source. AB 562, which is now in the Assembly, would create a single-payer health care system in California at the estimated cost of $400 billion annually. Without language about how the state will fund the cost of covering its nearly 40 million residents, the Senate approved AB 562 with a simple-majority. However, if AB 562 is amended in the Assembly to include a funding source, both houses will need to approve the bill with a two-thirds majority. Achieving this vote along party-lines would require Democrats to rely on their super-majority in the Legislature.

California Budget: Cannabis Discussion 

Members of the Senate and Assembly will have until midnight on June 15th to pass a budget. Throughout the process, lawmakers will be considering contributions to the regulatory framework for adult-use and medical cannabis. HOAC is working to shape the cannabis discussion, urging lawmakers to give focus to measuring its impacts, ensuring consumer protections, preventing overdose and youth use, and mitigating the potential impacts of cannabis on the health system.

House of Origin Deadline Passes

Friday marked the deadline by which Assembly Bills needed to clear the Assembly and Senate Bills needed to clear the Senate. Keeping the legislative process moving along, his is known as the “house of origin deadline.” Bills that did not meet this deadline are considered dead.
The only piece of priority legislation failing this deadline was AB 663 (Bloom), a supported bill that would have granted authority to the Coastal Commission to protect housing opportunities for low and moderate income people. Following this week, AB 663 will not be included in the priority bill update.

HOAC Acts to Support Three Bills

The following three bills are now supported by HOAC and will be included in future updates:
  • AB 841 (Weber), a bill what would prohibits the advertising of unhealthy food or beverages on school campuses. AB 841 is in the Senate.
  • SB 250 (Hertzberg), a bill that would ensure students whose guardians have unpaid school meal fees are not denied a nutritious meal. SB 250 is in the Assembly.
  • SB 386 (Glazer), a bill that would prohibit smoking on a state coastal beach or in a unit of the state park system. SB 386 is in the Assembly.

May 30, 2017

HOAC Opposed In-Home Restaurant Bill Held in Suspense, Becomes 2-year Bill

HOAC, in partnership with our allies at CHEAC, CSAC, UCC, and RCRC, is opposing AB 626 (Eduardo Garcia). This bill would create “microenterprise home kitchens” under the California Retail Food Code, allowing food prepared in private home kitchens to be sold to the public. As discussed in our most recent update, the Assembly Appropriations Committee was to consider AB 626 last week. The committee ultimately decided to hold AB 626, thereby killing the bill. However, since we are in the first year of a two-year legislative session, AB 626 can still be revived and reconsidered in 2018. 

Thank you to those who reached out to educate lawmakers about food safety. Our elected leaders learn from your experiences and HOAC is grateful for the time you take to get involved.

More than 800 Bills Heard Before Fiscal Committee Deadline

Over the last week, Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees considered more than 800 bills. There was a legislative deadline on Friday requiring fiscal committees to hear and report bills in their houses of origin to the floor. Bills that were not heard before the fiscal deadline can be considered dead, at least for the year.  

House of Origin Deadline on Friday

Shortly after the fiscal committee deadline, lawmakers are expected to meet the house of origin deadline on Friday, June 2nd. Meaning that by the end of the week, Assembly Bills will need to clear the Assembly, and Senate Bills will need to clear the Senate. Bills not meeting this deadline will be considered dead.

As of this morning, the Assembly had 472 bills to hear before the deadline. The Senate had 268. Neither policy nor fiscal committees are scheduled to meet this week, giving ample time for members of both houses to consider these bills in floor session.

What Does Public Health Mean to You?

The Office of Public Affairs is calling for photos, videos, poems, songs, stories, and other forms of art capturing the ways public health has affected you, your family, or your community.

“Maybe it’s through seatbelts, vaccinations, smoking cessation, nutrition programs or something else. How would you illustrate that experience?” Submit your entry by June 8th via Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #PublicHealthChallenge and tag CDPH @CAPublicHeaelth.
Final entries will be shared on CDPH’s social media sites and may be used to promote the CDPH 10th Anniversary celebration.

May 15, 2017

Assembly Passes HOAC Sponsored TB Control Measure, AB 511 (Arambula)

The California State Assembly approved AB 511 (Arambula), HOAC’s sponsored bill to build on previous legislative accomplishments by further updating California’s TB control practices. AB 511 faces strong opposition, but was passed by the Assembly with 62 ayes, 0 noes, and 18 abstentions/absences.

HOAC thanks the many members who reached out to share their knowledge with those serving in the Assembly – our state benefits when elected leaders can learn from your expertise.

AB 511 is now in the Senate, where it will soon be referred to a policy committee.

Governor Releases May Budget Revision

Governor Brown released his revised State Budget for FY 2017/18. Despite an additional $2.5 billion in revenues, in many respects, the May Revise is as fiscally prudent as the budget Governor Brown proposed in January. The budget has many priorities focusing on “counteracting the effects of poverty,” which include increased funding for schools and child care provider rate increases.

Except for an additional $9.3 million for the Cannabis Control Fund, CDPH’s proposed budget remains largely unchanged. Health highlights of the Governor’s revised proposal can be reviewed in this CDPH report.

May 9, 2017

Call to Action: Assembly to Consider HOAC Sponsored TB Control Bill, AB 511 (Arambula)

HOAC is sponsoring AB 511 (Arambula), a bill that would build on our previous legislative accomplishments to further implement the latest evidence-based TB control practices. Our bill is facing strong opposition. Members of the Assembly and their staff need to hear from our state's local public health experts, who have the experience and knowledge to answer questions and better inform their understanding of TB.

AB 511 would replace outdated universal testing mandates with appropriate risk assessment screening for foster parents, employees and volunteers at heritage schools, volunteers at crisis nurseries in Community Care Facilities, home care aides, and parks and recreation employees. Falling into one of these groups does not put someone at greater risk for TB, yet despite recommendations from the CDC, CDPH, and other expert bodies to universally test only those who are at a high-risk for TB, our state requires these groups to be universally tested without regard to their individual risk. This practice is neither cost-effective nor necessary in controlling the infection.

AB 511 will be acted on by the Assembly this week. Are you able to discuss TB control with your Assemblymember? If so, please reply to this update for information on how to most effectively reach-out to your representative and their staff.

California's May Budget Revision Nears

Governor Brown released his proposed budget for FY 2017/18 in January. However, following the April 18th tax deadline, revisions to the budget will be made considering the latest economic forecasts. The May budget revisions are expected to be released later this week.

Revenues for the current fiscal year closely match the governor's January low estimates, so he may be unlikely to give in to the legislature's spending plans. Legislative Democrats have many spending priorities, which include expanding the earned income tax credit for low-income people, making college less expensive, and expanding early-childhood services. But given budget estimates, the money may not be available. After the revision is released on Thursday or Friday of this week, negotiations will begin in earnest. The legislature must pass a budget by June 15.

Details regarding Governor Brown's budget proposal can be viewed here.

House Passes American Health Care Act (AHCA)

The House of Representatives voted by a margin of 217 to 213 to pass the AHCA last Thursday, marking the first milestone in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Speaker Ryan and House Republicans initially decided to pull the AHCA from a floor vote on March 24th, after representatives from the far-right Freedom Caucus, who believed AHCA did not go far enough in eliminating ACA provisions, refused to support the bill and offered amendments to eliminate provisions prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

The version of the AHCA that passed last week was expedited through the legislative process, as the House did not hold any hearings on the bill, nor did they obtain an updated Congressional Budget Office report to evaluate its potential impacts. From here, the bill will move to the Senate, which is unlikely to support AHCA in its current form.

California's Policy Committee Deadline Passes

April 28th was the last day for Assembly and Senate policy committees to hear all fiscal bills introduced in their respective houses. Bills deemed to have a fiscal impact must be considered by a fiscal committee, like Assembly Appropriations, after they are approved by a policy committee, like Assembly Health. Any fiscal bills that fail to meet this deadline are essentially dead, though some may be acted on in January 2018.

HOAC had two priority bills that failed to meet this deadline:
  • SB 300 (Monning), a supported bill that would have required health warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages
  • AB 1054 (Brough), an opposed bill that would have undermined the state's powdered alcohol ban

April 24, 2017

Trump Administration Removes Dr. Vivek Murthy from Surgeon General Post

Nearly two years away from completing his four-year term, Dr. Vivek Murthy was asked to resign from his duties as Surgeon General "after assisting in a smooth transition into the new Trump administration," said a Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) spokesperson. Murthy stepped down on Friday.

The 2013 nomination of Murthy by President Obama was met with controversy. In 2008, Murthy founded Doctors for Obama (now Doctors for America), a group of physicians and medical students working to improve health access and organize for health reform. However, it was labeling gun violence a "public health issue" that got Murthy in hot water. His comments drew criticism from the National Rifle Association and other gun advocacy groups, who actively opposed his nomination. Many Republicans were deeply concerned with his appointment and the Senate narrowly confirmed him as Surgeon General in December 2014.

Though Murthy was relieved of his duties as Surgeon General, he will continue serving as a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. His deputy, Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams, a 24-year veteran of the corps, will serve as the acting Surgeon General. Trent-Adams holds a PhD, MS, and BSN, and has been the chief nurse officer to the corps, as well as the deputy associate administrator of the HIV and AIDS bureau of the DHHS.

The role of the Surgeon General has traditionally been held by physicians. Prior to Trent-Adams, the only other non-physician Surgeon General was Dr. Robert Whitney, a veterinarian, who served as an interim for almost 10 weeks under the Clinton administration.

The Trump administration has not yet announced who the president will nominate to permanently fill the roll.

April 17, 2017

Call to Action: Save Menu Labeling

Last week, the leaders of 17 food and beverage companies sent a letter to Dr. Tom Price, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging a delay in food labeling from July 2018 to May 2021. Shortly after, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's nominee to head the FDA, expressed to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee his willingness to push back the start date for food labeling.

In 2008, our state worked to pass the first menu labeling law in the nation. Congress is now considering an anti-menu labeling bill (S.261), which would stop California's menu labeling law and no longer require restaurants to show calorie counties on menus and menu boards. Senator Feinstein (D-California) is on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and can help put a stop to this bill.

If you are interested and able to get involved in lending your voice to this concern, you can learn more here.

State Legislature Returns from Recess

California's lawmakers returned to the Capitol today, following a week-long recess. Legislators will be working full steam ahead to clear several rapidly approaching legislative deadlines.

April 10, 2017

HOAC Sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) Passes Assembly Health

HOAC's sponsored tuberculosis control legislation, AB 511 (Arambula), was heard by the Assembly Committee on Health last week. The bill, which would eliminate universal TB testing requirements for low-risk employees and bring our state closer in line with federal and state guidelines recommending screening, was passed with 8 aye votes, 0 no votes, and 6 abstentions/absences. AB 511 enjoyed support from several public health organizations, but was opposed at the hearing by the California Nurses Association. HOAC was fortunate to rely on the skilled testimony of Dr. Bob Kim-Farley and Mr. Mike Carson, whose thoughtful and informative responses to the committee's questions were essential to last week's success.

Now that the bill has been passed by Assembly Health, AB 511 will need to clear the Assembly Committee on Appropriations before moving to the Assembly Floor for consideration.

State Legislature Begins Spring Recess

Following the late-night votes to approve the governor's proposed gas-tax increase for infrastructure repairs, California's lawmakers adjourned for a week-long recess on Thursday. Things around the Capitol will be a bit quieter than usual until legislators return to the building on April 17th. Upon returning from the spring break, legislators will be working full steam ahead to clear several rapidly approaching legislative deadlines.


April 2, 2017

HOAC Sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) Will be Heard in Assembly Health Tomorrow

HOAC’s sponsored tuberculosis control legislation, AB 511 (Arambula) will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Health on April 4. The bill would eliminate universal TB testing requirements for low-risk employees, bringing our state closer in line with federal and state guidelines recommending screening. Receiving concerns from an organization representing nurses, HOAC and Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, the bill’s author, agreed to amendments exempting healthcare workers from the bill. Despite the compromise to alleviate these concerns, AB 511 will still face their opposition. As such, we would like to encourage our members to contact the offices of lawmakers serving on the Assembly Health Committee to express support for AB 511. A list of lawmakers serving on the committee is below. If you are interested and able to contact an Assemblymember regarding our sponsored legislation, HOAC would be happy to supply talking points and other helpful information upon request.

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
Legislator Party Phone Counties Served
Adrin Nazarian D 916-319-2046 Los Angeles
Autumn Burke D 916-319-2062 Los Angeles
Brian Mainschien (Vice-Chair) R 916-319-2077 San Diego
Freddie Rodriguez D 916-319-2052 Los Angeles, San Bernardino
James Gallagher R 916-319-2003 Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, tehama, Yuba
Jim Patterson R 916-319-2023 Fresno, Tulare
Jim Wood (Chair) D 916-319-2002 Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino. Sonoma
Kevin McCarty D 916-319-2007 Sacrametno, Yolo 
Marie Waldron R 916-319-2075 Riverside, San Diego
Miguel Santiago D 916-319-2053 Los Angeles
Monique Limon D 916-319-2037 Santa Barbara, Ventura 
Rob Bonta D 916-319-2018 Alameda
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas D 916-319-2054 Los Angeles
Sharon Quirk-Silva D 916-319-2065 Orange
Tony Thurmond D 916-319-2015 Alameda, Contra Costa


HOAC Executive Director Features in NACCHO Advocacy Video

Take a look at a PSA put together by the National Association of County and City Health Officials. HOAC Executive Director Kat DeBurgh is honored to participate. 

Free Operationalizing Health Equity in All Jurisdictions CME Activity on April 6th

HOAC is hosting “Operationalizing Health Equity in All Jurisdictions,” a free CME activity on Thursday, April 6 in Sacramento. This will include a boxed lunch just after the CCLHO Board Meeting. The event is free of cost, but registration is limited. You can register here

March 27, 2017

AB 511 (Arambula) Hearing on April 4

HOAC's sponsored tuberculosis control legislation, AB 511 (Arambula) will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Health on April 4. The bill would eliminate universal TB testing requirements for low-risk employees, bringing our state closer in line with federal and state guidelines recommending screening. Hearing concerns from an organization representing nurses, HOAC and Assemblymember Arambula, who once practiced as an emergency medicine physician, agreed to amendments exempting healthcare workers from the bill. Despite the compromise to alleviate these concerns, AB 511 is still likely to face opposition. As such, we would like to encourage our members to contact the lawmakers, particularly those serving on the Assembly Health Committee, to express support for AB 511. A list of lawmakers serving on the committee is below:

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
Legislator Party Phone Counties Served
Adrin Nazarian D 916-319-2046 Los Angeles
Autumn Burke D 916-319-2062 Los Angeles
Brian Mainschien (Vice-Chair) R 916-319-2077 San Diego
Freddie Rodriguez D 916-319-2052 Los Angeles, San Bernardino
James Gallagher R 916-319-2003 Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, tehama, Yuba
Jim Patterson R 916-319-2023 Fresno, Tulare
Jim Wood (Chair) D 916-319-2002 Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino. Sonoma
Kevin McCarty D 916-319-2007 Sacrametno, Yolo 
Marie Waldron R 916-319-2075 Riverside, San Diego
Miguel Santiago D 916-319-2053 Los Angeles
Monique Limon D 916-319-2037 Santa Barbara, Ventura 
Rob Bonta D 916-319-2018 Alameda
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas D 916-319-2054 Los Angeles
Sharon Quirk-Silva D 916-319-2065 Orange
Tony Thurmond D 916-319-2015 Alameda, Contra Costa

Network for Public Health Law: No-Cost Legal Consultation

Last Friday, HOAC staff had an opportunity to attend the Public Health Law Summit at the California Department of Public Health. The conference focused on emerging trends in public health law and included sessions on the regulation of recreational cannabis, data and privacy issues, using taxes to fund public health priorities, the legal implications of behavioral health challenges, and emergency powers, among other topics relating to law and public health. The conference was hosted by the Network for Public Health Law, who helps local, state, and federal public health officials use the law as a tool to improve the health of our communities. Thanks to the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Network offers the ability to consult with a public health attorney at no cost. They can provide answers to your specific legal questions, help you use the law to strengthen public health programs, locate resources detailing information on laws and programs implemented in different states, connect you to other public health experts across the country, and more.

Visit here to locate the Network's free "Ask an Attorney" service.

March 20, 2017

Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation Accepting Application to Serve on Advisory Committee

The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation has extended its deadline for applications to serve on their Cannabis Advisory Committee. This committee will advise the Bureau, as well as the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety, on the development of cannabis regulations. This would be a fantastic opportunity for health officers and other leaders in local public health to have a voice in shaping regulations impacting the medicinal and adult use of cannabis in our state. Please notify HOAC staff if you are interested in applying for consideration.

The application can be accessed here.

House of Representatives to Vote to Repeal ACA on Thursday

Members of the House of Representatives are likely to vote on Thursday to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the plan introduced by House Republican leaders two weeks ago. Despite last week’s non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report estimating a loss of coverage to 24 million people over ten years – a report that contradicts President Trump’s “insurance for everybody” promise and has led to increasing scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats alike – House Republican leaders remain confident in their ability to get the 216 votes needed to pass the AHCA. President Trump has stated he is “100 percent in favor” of the AHCA in its current form; however, he and Speaker Ryan will likely need to be open to reworking many aspects of the AHCA to secure its passage. With that in mind, the Prevention and Public Health Fund is still absent from the AHCA and there remains an opportunity to remind our elected leaders of its importance.

Free CME Activity on Operationalizing Health Equity in All Jurisdictions

HOAC is hosting a CME event on April 6 in Sacramento, “Operationalizing Health Equity in All Jurisdictions.” This will include a boxed lunch just after the CCLHO Board Meeting.  The event is free of cost, but registration is limited. You can register here. Also please let us know if you are interested in presenting a health equity-related program in your jurisdiction, or if you would like to apply for travel funds to attend the event.

March 14, 2017

Congressional Republicans Introduce a Plan to the Replace Affordable Care Act


Last week, House Republican leaders introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, not long after its introduction, the measure already appeared to be in danger of failure. Many Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns they say will prevent them from supporting the AHCA - some complaining the plan is a watered-down version of the ACA, others worried about the number of people who stand to lose coverage. The AHCA also received prompt opposition from the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons, among other heavy-hitting health and human services advocacy groups.

Delivering another blow to the possible success of the AHCA yesterday was the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimating that the proposal would leave 24 million people without coverage by 2026, a much bigger drop in coverage than lawmakers expected. However, the same report estimates the AHCA would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the coming decade, a number Republican leaders will likely take pride in throughout the fight to pass their proposal.

One of the biggest changes of the AHCA centers on tax credits intended to help people pay for insurance premiums. The AHCA would eliminate the ACA's insurance tax credit, currently based on factors like income, and replace it with a flat tax credit, based on age. Under the new plan, tax credits for individuals would increase as they get older.

The new health care plan would also rollback Medicaid expansions and repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, both of which occurred under the ACA. Additionally, the Republican proposal would impact funding to Planned Parenthood and prohibit low-income women from using subsidies to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion. And though there is nothing written in the AHCA that would specifically eliminate coverage of contraception, the proposal does not make explicit the coverage of contraception either. If passed, this would leave the Department of Health and Human Services, whose secretary - Dr. Tom Price - has been opposed to such coverage, to define whether contraception qualifies as "preventive care" under the AHCA.

March 7, 2017

Democratic Senators Introduce Bill to Create Single-Payer Healthcare System

State Senators Ricardo Lara (D - Los Angeles) and Toni Atkins (D - San Diego) have introduced legislation to create a single-payer healthcare system that would expand coverage to all Californians, including undocumented immigrants. Senator Lara says, "we know Californians fully support healthcare and health for all" and introduced the bill in response to federal efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Senators Lara, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Atkins are still considering a means to fund the system. HOAC has no position on this legislation, SB 562.

HOAC Legislative Committee

The HOAC Board of Directors voted this month to create a Legislative Committee to review, discuss, and prioritize legislation. There are openings on the committee for HOAC members from small, medium, and large jurisdictions. If you are a HOAC member and are interested in participating in the committee, which will meet once a week by phone, please e-mail Kat DeBurgh at kat@calhealthofficers.org.

February 21, 2017

HOAC Sponsored Tuberculosis Screening Legislation Introduced

HOAC's sponsored legislation was introduced in the Assembly last week as AB 511. This legislation is authored by Assemblymember Joaquin
Arambula (D-Fresno), who practiced emergency medicine prior to serving in the legislature. The bill will eliminate state-mandated universal
tuberculosis testing requirements for workers who are not at high-risk for the infection, thereby bringing our state's TB control procedures closer in line with CDC and CDPH guidelines. Routinely testing low-risk groups is unnecessary and dissipates valuable public health resources. Modernizing California's TB control protocol, AB 511 provides a more cost-effective approach that will allow health care providers to assess the risk of infection on an individual basis to evaluate whether a PPD is necessary for each of those currently required by the state to be tested as a condition of their employment.

Nearly 2,500 Bills Introduced Before California's Bill Introduction Deadline

The California bill introduction deadline was last Friday, February 17th. Not including numerous resolutions and constitutional amendments, the legislature saw nearly 2,500 bills introduced - nearly 1,800 of which were introduced in the 5 days leading to the deadline. The number of bills
introduced this year is a 25 percent increase from the number of bills introduced last year, and a 9 percent increase from that of 2015.

The cause for this rise may be explained by the Assembly now allowing members to introduce up to 50 bills over the 2-year session, up from 40
bills allowed in previous sessions. Absent a rule waiver, over the 2-year Legislative Session, there can be a maximum of 1,600 bills introduced in the Senate (40 Senators authoring up to 40 bills) and 4,000 bills in the Assembly (80 Assemblymembers authoring up to 50 bills), for a combined total of up to 5,600 bills. This year, the Senate introduced just over half the maximum (808 bills); the Assembly introduced under half the maximum (1,687 bills).

HOAC is currently tracking 987 Senate and Assembly bills.

February13, 2017

HOAC Call to Federal Action

Members of Congress will be working in their districts from Monday, February 20th to Friday, February 24th. HOAC would like to encourage members to utilize this time to meet with your congressional representatives to discuss the importance of maintaining the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a vital part of the CDC’s budget threatened by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. I will be sending emails to individual health officers with information on contacting those representing each local health jurisdiction in Congress. Those emails will include talking points and other resources that may be helpful, should you be able to speak with your representatives or their staff.   

Survey Says 35 Percent Don’t Know Obamacare and Affordable Care Act Are the Same

A poll conducted by Morning Consult and reported by the New York Times last week indicates great public confusion over the healthcare law President Trump and Congressional Republicans have spent years promising to repeal. In the survey, 17 percent of respondents incorrectly believed the ACA and Obamacare were different policies. An additional 18 percent did not know whether they were the same or different. This confusion was most prominent among people aged 18 to 29 and those who earn under $50,000/yr, two groups who stand to be greatly impacted by its repeal.

HOAC Legislative Committee

Last week, the HOAC Board of Directors voted to create a Legislative Committee to review, discuss, and prioritize legislation. There are openings on the committee for HOAC members from small, medium, and large jurisdictions. If you are a HOAC member and are interested in participating in the committee, which will meet once a week by phone, please e-mail Kat DeBurgh atkat@calhealthofficers.org.

February 6, 2017

HOAC Legislative Committee

Last week, the HOAC Board of Directors voted to create a Legislative Committee to review, discuss, and prioritize legislation. There are openings on the committee for HOAC members from small, medium, and large jurisdictions. If you are a HOAC member and are interested in participating in the committee, which will meet once a week by phone, please e-mail Kat DeBurgh atkat@calhealthofficers.org.

ACA Repeal Update

Though there is still no clear plan for its replacement, House Speaker Paul Ryan has presented a timeline whereby the Affordable Care Act would be repealed before April. According to Speaker Ryan’s timeline, a replacement is expected to be passed by the end of the year.

NACCHO Call to Action: Prevention and Public Health Fund Alert

With the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) in the current fiscal year (FY2017) is at risk. If Congress repeals the ACA, CDC could lose $1 billion in funding for core public health programs supported by PPHF.
NACCHO urges local health departments to take action now and call their Members of Congress to oppose cutting the PPHF. Please see Defend the Prevention and Public Health Fund: Phone Script.

January 27, 2017

Assenbly Committee Assignments Announced

Speaker Anthony Rendon announced Assembly committee assignments on Friday. Assignments to the Assembly Committee on Health and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services are listed below:

Assembly Committee on Health
Jim Wood, Chair (D – Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma)
Brian Maienschein, Vice-Chair (R – San Diego)
Rob Bonta (D - Alameda)
Autumn Burke (D – Los Angeles)
James Gallagher (R – Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama)
Monique Lion (D – Santa Barbara, Ventura)
Kevin McCarty D – Sacramento, Yolo)

Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services
Joaquin Arambula, Chair (D – Fresno)
Matthew Harper, Vice-Chair (R – Orange)
Devon Mathis (R – Inyo, Kern, Tulare)
Blanca Rubio (D – Los Angeles)
Jim Wood (D – Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma)
Phil Ting, Democratic Alternate (D – San Francisco)
Jay Obernolte, Republican Alternate (R – San Bernardino)

CONTACT

Health Officers Association of California
1100 11th Street #323
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-441-7405
916-447-2940 (fax)

Please send questions or comments to Kat Deburgh (deburgh@calhealthofficers.org).