CSA Opposes Dangerous Price-Setting Assembly Bill

  • Sibert, Karen, MD, FASA
| Apr 10, 2018

Sibert_resizeToday a new bill, AB 3087, is being introduced in the California Assembly, and is a direct assault on the delivery of healthcare in California. This bill, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D – San Jose) is sponsored by labor and consumer advocacy organizations. It would create a new government-appointed commission, specifically excluding physicians, that would establish “base amounts” that physicians and facilities would have to accept as payment in full for services provided under commercial healthcare coverage.

Clearly this bill is an unacceptable proposal that would dramatically undermine the healthcare market, create infeasible payment methodologies, result in the departure of physicians from California, and undermine patient care in our state. It would make it impossible to recruit young physicians to work in California.

The bill uses Medicare percentage multiplier rates as the standard for the base amount. It would also determine total healthcare expenditures, setting a global cap for those expenditures based on the state Gross Domestic Product.

This bill would jeopardize the gains California has made in the number of people enrolled in coverage, and it would artificially limit care by capping expenditures. If enacted, California would be the ONLY STATE IN THE COUNTRY to implement such a government-sanctioned cost-setting board. This bill eviscerates the state’s concerted efforts to increase residency slots and improve access to physician services, without proposing ways to ensure that vulnerable patients continue to have access to care.

CSA is STRONGLY OPPOSED to AB 3087 and is engaged in the following activities on your behalf:

  • Working in concert with CMA to develop lobbying and media strategies
  • Ramping up CSA’s lobby on April 18 to attack this bill
  • Contacting key legislators to voice our opposition
  • Engaging CSA’s residents, the future of our specialty in California, to make sure their voices are heard

Next steps: The bill is set to be heard in Assembly Health Committee on April 24 at 1:30 pm. CSA physicians who live in districts served by legislators who sit on the Health Committee have been specifically contacted through our Voter Voice action alert system and asked to contact those legislators to voice their opposition.

CSA’s membership in full should stay tuned and look for additional CSA communications on next steps: we will keep you posted and alert you on the best ways to engage moving forward. We are acting in close coordination with our political allies and colleagues in the House of Medicine, so it is important that CSA’s members are up to speed and that we stay organized and coordinated in our grassroots activities.

If you are able to join us for CSA and CMA Day at the Capitol on April 18 to make your voice heard in the Legislature, please let us know. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the CMA website.

For more information on the bill and CSA’s lobbying efforts, please contact CSA’s lobbyists, Vanessa Cajina and Bryce Docherty, at vcajina@ka-pow.com and bdocherty@ka-pow.com. For more information on communications and media, please contact CSA’s PR team, Alison MacLeod and Lisa Yarbrough, at amacleod@ka-pow.com and lyarbrough@ka-pow.com.

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