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CMA objects to federal rule that would disrupt comprehensive women's health coverage

The California Medical Association (CMA) has filed formal comments objecting to a proposed federal rule that would change the way consumers are billed for health insurance exchange plans that cover abortion services. The proposed Exchange Program Integrity rule would require plans to send two separate monthly bills to each policyholder: one bill for the non-Hyde abortion coverage (at least $1 per member per month) and one bill for all other services. This would mean consumers would have to pay their monthly premium in two separate transactions. CMA believes the proposal threatens ...

Federal court halts expanded religious exemption from ACA contraceptive mandate

On January 7, 2019, the California Medical Association (CMA), along with other health care provider organizations, filed an amicus brief in support of the State of California in its challenge to federal rules that would expand a group health plan or health insurer's ability to claim a religious or moral objection to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate. On January 13, 2019, one day before the effective date, the federal court granted the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction, blocking the rules from going ...

New Laws 2019: What physicians need to know

The California Legislature had an active year, passing many new laws affecting health care. In particular, there was a strong focus on health care coverage, drug prescribing, public health and mental health issues. To help physicians understand the most significant new health laws, the California Medical Association has published its annual new laws round up, “Significant New California Laws of Interest to Physicians for 2019.” This document is free to all interested parties.

House votes to expand health savings accounts

On July 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills (H.R. 6199 and H.R. 6311) that would expand how health savings accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred accounts can be used on health care spending. HSAs, which are paired with high deductible health plans, allow people to contribute pre-tax earnings each year and save for medical expenses.  The first bill—H.R. 6199, which passed 277 to 142—would allow individuals with HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans to use up to $250 a year (or $500 a year for families) on services like primary ...

California physicians condemn changes to Affordable Care Act birth control mandate

The Trump Administration today announced an interim final rule that permits employers and insurers to claim a religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “Birth Control Mandate.” The California Medical Association (CMA), representing over 43,000 physicians in all specialties and modes of practice, issued the following statement, condemning this policy change on the grounds that it undermines the availability of preventative health care for California women. “Access to contraception is a basic preventative health care service that millions of Californians rely on,” said CMA President Ruth Haskins, M.D. “The ...

CMA to tackle three major issues at annual meeting

The 146th Annual Session of the California Medical Association (CMA) House of Delegates (HOD) will tackle three major issues—health care reform (on both the federal and state level), physician workforce and mental health care—when it convenes October 21-22, 2017, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. CMA physician delegates meet annually to establish broad policy on current major issues that have been determined to be the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine. Reports on these major issues are now available for comment. All members are ...

California's physicians oppose Graham-Cassidy repeal bill

The U.S. Senate is currently considering the Graham-Cassidy block grant bill, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance mandate, underfund health insurance subsidies and make drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. Under the bill, traditional Medicaid funding would be capped. Medicaid expansion and ACA subsidies for low- and middle-income families would be subject to an underfunded block grant and phased out in 2027. This bill would be disproportionately harmful to states like California, which embraced Medicaid expansion and increased coverage under the ACA.  In response, the California Medical ...

U.S. Senate health reform update

While there has been considerable activity in the Senate over the past week, plans for bringing a health system reform bill to the floor for a vote remain very fluid. Under pressure from both President Trump and a long legislative to-do list, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would attempt to bring repeal legislation to the floor again tomorrow. At this point, it appears that two substitute amendments for the House-passed American Heath Care Act (AHCA) are likely candidates to serve as the basis for Senate debate: ...

CMA joins coalition to oppose Senate health care bill

The California Medical Association (CMA) and a coalition of 9 other state medical associations have joined together to oppose the Republican Senate health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). CMA and the other associations are concerned that the Medicaid funding cap and inflation index would not keep pace with rising costs beyond physicians’ control. The California Department of Health Care Services estimates that the Senate bill would cut California’s Medi-Cal program by $114 billion. "The proposal places an untenable burden on state budgets and an ...

AMA delegates affirm commitment to health insurance coverage for all Americans

At the interim meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates this weekend in Florida, delegates from the California Medical Association and more than 170 state and specialty medical societies from across the country affirmed their commitment to health insurance coverage for all Americans. “Using a comprehensive policy framework that has been refined over the past two decades, AMA will actively engage the incoming Trump Administration and Congress in discussions on the future direction of health care," said Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., AMA president. "AMA remains committed to ...