The 2019 California Budget is a $15 Million Victory for People with Asthma
July 11, 2019 | Joel Ervice, PHI's Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Program
In a big win for Californians with poorly controlled asthma, the recently adopted state budget allocates $15 million to support asthma prevention and environmental remediation services. The one-time funding will support local health departments, medical providers and community-based organizations to offer asthma education and environmental trigger mitigation.
The appropriation is the first of its kind in California, and represents a significant “down payment” toward increasing patient access to asthma home visiting services, which improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs by preventing more expensive ER visits and hospitalizations.
The budget victory was led by Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), a project of PHI, in collaboration with the California Pan Ethnic Health Network, Children Now, legislative champion Senator Melissa Hurtado, and a wide range of partners in the field.
Even with this win in place, there’s more to do. Short-term, RAMP and our partners will work with the California Department of Health Care Services to help shape the implementation of the funding. Additionally, RAMP will continue to push for inclusion of asthma home visiting services as a covered benefit within Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. In fact, RAMP continues to co-sponsor SB 207, which would do just that.
Joel Ervice is the Associate Director of PHI's Regional Asthma Management and Prevention program (RAMP).