Governor Continues Strong Investments in Health Equity; More Action Needed to Address Racism as a Public Health Crisis 

Author Details

Monika Lee

Associate Communications Director
(858) 353-7271

Organization: California Pan-Ethnic Health Network

California Pan-Ethnic Health Network 
For Immediate Release 
May 13, 2022 
Contact: Monika Lee, (858) 353-7271 

Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released the following statement in response to the Governor’s May Budget Revision (FY 2022-2023) from Executive Director Kiran Savage-Sangwan. 

“We are pleased to see the Governor’s May Revision continue the strong commitments to health equity that were proposed in January and enacted over the past three years. The Governor recognizes that the Medi-Cal program is the foundation of health equity in California and has made important investments in reforming that program so that it meets the needs of all Californians. In particular, we celebrate the investments to bring California nearly to universal coverage by removing immigration status as a barrier to Medi-Cal coverage and keeping Covered California affordable.  

The May Revision builds on this foundation with several critical health equity investments: 

  • Extending the Medi-Cal Enrollment Navigator program, which will assist Californians with low incomes in accessing and navigating their coverage. The program is particularly important now as Medi-Cal eligibility expansions go into effect and the federal government contemplates ending the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and reinstating Medi-Cal redeterminations.  
  • Funding implementation of health information exchange by providing technical assistance and capacity building support so that health providers, including community-based organizations, are able to collect and exchange data and identify health disparities. 
  • Strengthening supports for pregnant and birthing people by improving access to doula care, a proven intervention for the unacceptable racial disparities in birth outcomes, and ensuring that California will remain a reproductive freedom and justice state.  

At the same time, we must do more to recognize racism as a public health crisis, and to fund interventions that tackle inequities at their root. Communities of color have borne the brunt of COVID-19 as well as the economic ramifications of the pandemic. Without targeted relief and transformative investment, this status quo will remain. We are disappointed to see the Health Equity and Racial Justice Innovation Fund, a bold investment in racial equity and community resilience, left out once again. We also urge the Governor and the Legislature to focus continued COVID-19 response funding and economic relief funding on the most vulnerable Californians. California led the nation in pandemic response due to a strong and equity-focused effort. We must double-down on that commitment now. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to build a Healthy California for All.”