December 2006

In this Issue: Healthcare Feature | Larry Lucas | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information


Feature Articles

Call for articlesCalifornia's Health Care System May Change Under the Deficit Reduction Act

At CPAT’s November 2006 luncheons, attendees learned of important issues surrounding the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), signed by President Bush earlier this year. The Act is expected to generate $99 billion in federal entitlement reductions over the next nine years by reducing budgets for various programs and reconfiguring their current structure, including Medicaid (or Medi-Cal as it is known in California).

Because of these reductions, the DRA could have dramatic implications for California’s public health care system. This legislation mandates that each state craft its own regulations governing a variety of treatment options currently provided by Medicaid/Medi-Cal. While states have a wide degree of latitude to determine coverage guidelines, the possibility remains that current beneficiaries at or slightly above the federal poverty level could lose certain benefits or be required to increase their co-payments. Read more...


Larry Lucas

CA Access News is excited to introduce a new healthcare feature to our monthly e-newsletter. Larry Lucas, a Deputy Vice President with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), will address health issues of concern in our state and nation. Be sure to look for Larry’s column each month next to our “In the News” section!

A Population Plus: More Americans Living Longer

You may have heard the news: America’s melting pot now boasts 300 million residents, making it the third most populous nation in the world. In just 40 years, our country has grown by more than 100 million people – a figure greater than the entire population of France. And we owe it all to an increasing number of immigrants, a healthy birth rate and added life expectancy. Read more...

The Face of AIDS in America Today

A lot can happen in 25 years – an entire generation of babies are born, grow into adults, maybe even start their own families. In 1981 Ronald Reagan was president, the United States was locked in a Cold War and the “MTV generation” was just tuning in. It was also 25 years ago that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first cases of a rare pneumonia and skin cancer among gay men. These were the first recognized cases of AIDS. Read more...

Member Spotlight

HMO Help Center - California Department of Managed Care

The HMO Help Center provides consumers with the tools and resources needed to select an HMO plan, learn about plan benefits, and educate HMO consumers about their rights. They also help answer questions and resolve conflicts with HMO providers. The HMO Help Center is provided through the California Department of Managed Health Care, a first-in-the-nation HMO consumer rights organization, which helps California consumers resolve problems with their health plan and works to provide a more stable and financially solvent managed care system.

To learn more about the HMO Help Center, visit them online at:


“The Year of Healthcare”
Roundtable Discussion & Luncheon

Please join CPAT for a complimentary luncheon and informative
roundtable discussion regarding your ideas and visions for health care in 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Sterling Hotel
1300 H Street
Sacramento, CA
RSVP to: Dorothy at (916) 658-0144
or e-mail:

Thursday, January 25, 2007
12 noon - 2 p.m.
The Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
711 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA
RSVP to: Andrea at (323) 466-3445 x 240
or e-mail:

Be sure to Save the Date for our February complimentary luncheon on
Health Disparities in California

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Sacramento, CA

Thursday, February 22, 2007
Los Angeles, CA

Welcome New Members!

New Partners

  • Norco Chamber of Commerce
  • Pomona Chamber of Commerce
  • Conejo Free Clinic
  • San Diego North Chamber of Commerce
  • Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cure Arthritis Now
  • Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce
  • Young and Healthy

In the News

State Delays Enforcing Proof-of-Citizenship Law
November 17, 2006
Los Angeles Times
By Rong-Gong Lin II

Concerned about creating hardships for eligible recipients, California remains one of several states that have yet to comply with a 4-month-old federal law requiring Medicaid enrollees to provide proof of citizenship to receive benefits. Click here for full article.

Health care hurdle for illegals' newborns
They're citizens, but new law denies them automatic eligibility

November 3, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle
By Robert Pear

California State Department of Health Secretary Kim Belshé has objected to the change in treatment of newborns, which officials said was necessary under their reading of a new Deficit Reduction Act, signed by President Bush in February. Click here for full article.

Higher-income beneficiaries will pay a higher Medicare premium
October 23, 2006
The Press-Enterprise – Inland Southern California
By Neil Downing

The phasing in of the Deficit Reduction Act over the next three years could mean a big change for some beneficiaries of the Medicare federal health insurance program. Click here for full article.

Interesting Information
  • Medicare and Medicaid began in 1965 with the implementation of the Social Securities Act.(1)
  • Medicare programs expanded in 1972 to include people under 65 with permanent disabilities, which presently accounts for an estimated 15% of recipients.(1)
  • Medicare currently covers approximately 43 million Americans(1), 4 million of which live in California alone.(2)
  • Medicare benefits are estimated to total $374 billion in 2006, or 14% of the Federal Budget. Federal spending on Medicare is expected to exceed $524 billion annually by 2011.(1)
  • Nearly 6.5 million Californians are beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program.(3)
  • Beneficiary spending in California is approximately $700 higher than the National average per beneficiary.(2)

1. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation “Medicare At a Glance Fact Sheet,” July 2006.
2. California Healthcare Foundation “Medicare Facts and Figures: A California Perspective,” February 2006.
3. California Department of Health Services “Overview for the Medi-Cal-Beneficiaries-Profiles-by-County File” January 2006.


CA Access News welcomes contributions from our partners. Please contact us if you have suggestions for future events and stories by calling CPAT at (916) 658-0144, Attn: Janet.


925 L Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814

Supported by America's Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies

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