The Voice of Organized Medicine

Key Issues

key issues graphicSenator Richard Pan, MD, SSVMS physicians and medical students at a press conference for the "Yes on Proposition 56" Campaign to increase the tax on tobacco products
in California.

With the CMA, SSVMS has fought for issues crucial to the practice of medicine, including:

Protecting Access to Care

  • Increased Medi-Cal provider payments through the Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax Initiative.
  • Increased Graduate Medical Education funding to provide more residency slots in California
  • Physicians for a Healthy California launched Cal Health Cares to provide $220 million in medical student loan forgiveness. In exchange, providers pledge to accept more Medi-Cal patients for a five-year term.
  • The SSVMS SPIRIT program has provided $11 million in donated services to the Sacramento Region’s uninsured.

Protecting MICRA

  • Successfully defeated trial lawyers’ attempt to eviscerate California’s landmark tort reform law MICRA with the “No on Proposition 46” campaign.
  • The successful campaign resulted in an average savings of $93,000 per year in Sacramento, Yolo and El Dorado Counties.

Medicare Reform

  • Repealed Medicare’s flawed SGR, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars to physicians nationwide over the coming decade.
  • Eliminated Medicare's Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) inequities, resulting in increased Medicare payments to physicians practicing in the Sacramento Region starting in 2017.
  • Secured reauthorization and funding of the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program.

Protecting Physicians

  • Successfully stopped bills that attempted to erode California’s ban on the corporate practice of medicine and protected Medical Staff Self Governance.
  • Successfully stood in defense of California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) before the 5th Appellate District Court, which upheld MICRA’s constitutionality.
  • Stopped several legislative attempts to expand the scope of practice of allied health professionals.
  • CMA’s Center for Economic Services (CES) successfully recouped over $25 million from payors on behalf of member physicians.
  • SSVMS participates in the Managed Medi-Cal Advisory Committee to the Sacramento Department of Health & Human Services.

Protecting Public Health

  • Tobacco - Successfully passed a sweeping series of tobacco control bills— including taxation on all tobacco products and raising the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21—that will undoubtedly save countless California children from a deadly, lifetime addiction to nicotine.
  • Big Soda - Sponsoring a 2020 ballot initiative that would implement a statewide tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks, and provide at least $1.7 billion in revenue for critical health programs. 
  • Vaccines - Sponsored a successful bill that eliminated the personal belief exemption from school vaccination requirements, barring parents from skipping their children’s school-required immunizations unless they have a medical exemption from a physician. Since the bill passed in 2015, kindergarten immunization rates have gone up dramatically.