Action alert: Oppose swipe of dental funds

CDA encourages dentists to share their opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for Proposition 56 funds that voters intended to be used for improving access to care. Voters approved the additional $2 tax on tobacco products by an overwhelming majority last November with the intention of funds going toward boosting reimbursements for medical and dental providers and improving access to care for the 14 million Californians enrolled in the state's Medi-Cal program. The governor's proposed budget instead uses tobacco tax funds to pay for general program costs.

CDA, the California Medical Association and coalition partners are strongly advocating for Proposition 56 funding to be used as voters intended.

Dentists may have their voices heard by visiting www.protectmedi-cal.org and submitting a petition to state legislative leaders, who will make final budget decisions very soon.

CDA will continue to keep members informed about this issue through the Update, newsletter and cda.org.

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CDA has assembled a group of volunteer dentists to monitor the impact of federal ACA reform efforts on behalf of CDA members. Since December 2016, this workgroup has been gathering information and meeting regularly with policymakers to assess the potential impact on California dentists of all federal proposals to repeal, amend or replace the ACA. In addition, a course offered at CDA Presents Anaheim will discuss the potential impact of the ACA reform on consumers and the dental profession.

Two weeks before the Proposition 56 tobacco tax went into effect in California, the California Dental Association and California Medical Association teamed up to ensure the additional $2 per pack smokers began paying on April 1 would be used as voters intended the dollars to be used — to increase access to care by boosting the level of payment for health care, services and treatment.

The 2017-18 state budget proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown calls for using tobacco tax-generated funds from Proposition 56 to offset the state’s current obligations to Medi-Cal rather than provide additional funding for provider reimbursement rates. This proposal disregards the will of the voters and the ballot measure’s provisions.