This morning Governor Brown held a press conference announcing he would veto the budget sent to him by the Legislature just hours before. Both the Senate and Assembly met yesterday and passed the main budget bill as well as various "trailer" bills that implement policy changes pursuant to appropriations and spending reductions contained in the main budget. The main bill was passed on a party-line vote, and did not contain either a "bridge tax" to continue the current tax rates (raised in the 2009-10 budget) nor the requirement for a public vote to determine whether or not to extend those tax rates for another 2 to 5 years. As a result, new cuts and spending shifts were included to close the remaining gap of approximately $9.6 billion. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7dHqjhJz8k] Fortunately the budget bills that were passed did not eliminate the Healthy Families program, which was a huge victory for the California Medical Association (CMA) and all county medical societies and our partners in this effort including the California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the California Academy of Family Physicians. However, the battle is far from over, as the main budget bill contained language to begin transferring the administrative function and expenditure authority for Healthy Families over to the Department of Healthcare Services (currently the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board operates the program). The main budget bill also required that a transition plan for Healthy Families be developed and put into law through separate legislation. As the process gets underway again following the Governor’s veto this morning, CMA will continue to be fully engaged in the process to protect against further devastating cuts to the safety net and ensure adequate coverage and access to care for California’s needy children. The budget package did include some good items, including $7.3 million for vaccines for low-income, uninsured Californians, $4.4 million in additional funds resulting from interest earnings to the Every Woman Counts breast and cervical cancer screening program, and the creation of the Keeping Adults Free from Institutions program to provide adult day health services to eligible individuals. Another substantial policy change contained in the budget is to authorize the Department of Health Care Services to develop a new methodology for reimbursing pharmacy products utilizing Average Acquisition Price. It is important to note that while Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed the main two budget bills (SB 69 and AB 98), he has not yet acted on the various trailer bills that also passed yesterday that contain policy changes to implement the budget’s spending directives. CMA/SFMS will continue to provide you with updates as the budget process moves toward a final resolution, and will continue to be actively involved in the process in order to ensure that all Californians have access to quality care when they need it. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Carolyn Ginno at (916) 444-5532 or firstname.lastname@example.org .