Proposition 56

CDA is excited to report that Proposition 56, co-sponsored by CDA to raise the state’s tobacco tax by $2, passed overwhelmingly in the recent election with 62 percent of the vote.

Winning a ballot measure campaign in California is a massive undertaking, especially with an opposition as powerful and well-funded as the tobacco industry. We are grateful for member support that made participation in this campaign possible, and to those who went the extra step to help us collect qualifying signatures, distribute campaign materials and spread the Yes on 56 message.   

CDA, along with our coalition partners, has taken a significant step to address a critical public health issue and improve oral health in California. Proposition 56 will save thousands of lives, save the health care system billions of dollars, and provide substantial new funding for Medi-Cal provider reimbursements so more patients can get care. Also, the state oral health program overseen by California’s dental director will now receive $30 million per year, a tenfold increase in state funding for a program that has not previously had a dedicated revenue source.

The success of Proposition 56 is another example of what we are capable of accomplishing through our collective efforts and working with our partners in health care.

Further updates on Proposition 56 and our progress on next steps will be provided in the CDA Update, e-newsletter and

In the News
$300K opportunity for dentists who relocate, commit to Medi-Cal

California dentists who are willing to relocate, expand or establish a new practice to an area of highest patient need and commit to serving Medi-Cal beneficiaries for at least 10 years can apply in January 2020 to receive up to $300,000 in grant funding through the state’s CalHealthCares program to support related costs.


'Life-changing' grants awarded to 38 dentists committed to Medi-Cal

Marc Bernardo, DMD, MPH, and Michelle Galeon, DMD, are among the first recipients of a new grant funded by Proposition 56, a voter-approved tobacco tax that CDA and other health care organizations sponsored in 2016. The grant program awarded $10 million in debt relief to 38 dentists (up to $300,000 each) in exchange for the dentists maintaining a 30% or more Medi-Cal patient caseload for five years.


New state program awards $10.5M in grants to dentists

The Department of Health Care Service’s new program designed to expand access to care for Medi-Cal patients has awarded $10.5 million to 40 dentists to pay student loan debt. Approximately 1,300 health care providers, including 350 dentists, applied to the CalHealthCares program, which offers up to $300,000 in debt relief in exchange for meeting certain criteria.


Participate in study to evaluate the Dental Transformation Initiative

To understand how well the Dental Transformation Initiative program is meeting its goals, the Department of Health Care Services has contracted with Mathematica, an external, independent research organization, to evaluate DTI as outlined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Special Terms and Conditions.