2011 Policy & Advocacy Priorities
The California Black Health Network (CBHN) is committed to providing leadership and advocacy on the political, social, legislative, and regulatory issues impacting African‐Americans in this state.
African‐Americans, despite being only 6.6 percent of our state’s population, continue to endure the most drastic disparities when it comes to health status and access to affordable, quality health care. Therefore, with the long established mission of promoting systemic change, education, and public policies that reduce and/or eliminate disproportionate health disparities, CBHN has established the following advocacy priorities for 2011.
Opposing State Budget Cuts to Health
The safety net system serving California low‐income, vulnerable populations has already been decimated by nearly straight years of cuts‐dominated state budgets. The state budget proposed by Governor Jerry Brown promises further harmful reductions to the programs and services California’s African‐Americans rely upon.
CBHN is actively opposing proposals to cut billions of dollars from Medi‐Cal, CalWorks and Healthy Families, including:
- Utilization Controls‐ 10 visits per year cap, 6 prescriptions per month cap
- Cost Sharing‐ $5 copayments on physician/clinic/dental/and pharmacy visits (per beneficiary), $50
copayment on ER visits, $100 per day copayment ($200 max) for hospital stays
- Eliminate Adult Day Health Care
- Reduce Medi‐Cal Provider Payments by 10‐Percent
- Eliminate Healthy Families Program Vision Coverage
- Increase Healthy Families Program Premiums
- Increase Healthy Families Program Copayments
Implementation of Health Reform
Passage of Federal health care reform was a watershed moment in our history – particular for our minority communities, whose health needs have gone unaddressed for decades. Yet CBHN understands there’s still a lot of work to be done to make The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a reality in California. To that end, CBHN will continue advocating for implementation of health reform’s provisions.
CBHN is calling for:
- Rejection of H.R. 1, which passed out of the House and is now in the Senate, calling for repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Diverse appointment by the California Legislature to the California Health Benefits Exchange Board
- Implementation of a rate regulation process that fulfills the intents of the Affordable Care Act and protects consumers from unfair, unnecessary hikes.
- Establishment of a Medicaid/Medi‐Cal Pre‐Enrollment program that covers individuals currently cared for by our safety net system.
Restoring Maternal and Infant Health Programs
African‐American mothers and infants continue to suffer from alarmingly high rates of infant mortality, low birth weight and other pregnancy issues.
|Infant (under 1 year of
|11.4%/1000 live births Highest by factor of 2 ½ times||Preterm birth ‐ less than 37 weeks||14.8% ‐ highest rate||Low birth weight||12.1%||Caesarean||36.8% ‐ highest rate|
Source: statehealthfacts.org; www.kff.org
To address these longtime disparities, CBHN is calling for:
- Restoration of funds to Access for Women and Infants (AIM), Black Infant Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH), and other vital programs and services that provide pre‐ and post‐natal care to low‐income women and children.
Protecting African American Seniors
Two-thirds of all African American Medicare beneficiaries live on incomes below twice the federal poverty level; approximately one-third live on incomes below the federal poverty level. These statistics not only underscore the importance of Medicare benefits, but also speaks to the fact that a large percentage of the African-American elderly population is heavily reliant on other public programs and services for their well being. As such, the African American elderly population is disproportionately impacted health access issues and state budget decisions.
With that in mind, CBHN remains heavily active in:
- Opposing state budget proposals to eliminate the Adult Day Health Care Program, decrease Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates, and reduce In-Home Supportive Services
- Calling for higher Medicare provider reimbursement rates
- Supporting efforts to crack down on Medicare fraud
- Educating policymakers on the necessity of developing and funding programs that increase health literacy and healthy aging, and promote management of chronic diseases such diabetes, obesity, dementia, and heart disease – all of which impact the African American population.