Assemblyman Gray’s Legislation Renews Calls for UC Merced Medical School and Improved Valley Healthcare

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ASSEMBLYMEMBER ADAM C. GRAY
21ST ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
For Immediate Release: February 15, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021

Assemblyman Gray’s Legislation Renews Calls for UC Merced Medical School and Improved Valley Healthcare

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D – Merced) announced the introduction of legislation to establish a medical school at the University of California, Merced as well as bills aimed at improving health outcomes in rural California. AB 2202 would appropriate an unspecified amount of funding from the state’s multibillion dollar general fund surplus to establish the University of California, Merced School of Medicine.

 

“Establishing a medical school at UC Merced to serve the Central Valley was part and parcel to the inception of the campus three decades ago,” said Gray. “I commend UC Merced’s inventive implementation of the 2020 plan and SJV PRIME program while receiving less state assistance than any UC campus before it. In a year when we expect a multibillion dollar surplus, now is the time for the state to invest in the creation of this critically needed medical school. The Central Valley is significantly disadvantaged when it comes to our shortage of health care professionals and infrastructure. Locating a medical school in the heart of the region is an obvious solution we should have implemented a long time ago.”

Gray also introduced legislation seeking to increase payments to primary care doctors who treat Medi-Cal patients, AB 2203, and boost the number of hours intermittent health clinics can keep their doors open, AB 2204.

 

“The Legislature has patted itself on the back for expanding the number of people in the state with a health insurance card,” said Gray. “Unfortunately, an insurance card is no guarantee of access to a doctor. Nearly half of the northern San Joaquin Valley is now on Medi-Cal, yet our emergency rooms remain overloaded. Too many of us live in communities with zero hospitals and few doctors’ offices. Even the doctors who do serve our communities often cannot afford to treat Medi-Cal patients when they are only paid $18 for an office visit. That simply is not enough to keep the lights on, and we must value our Medi-Cal population more than that. To add insult to injury, we cap the number of hours certain health clinics are able to operate per week. I have run legislation in the past to raise the cap, and this year we will bring that cap up to 40 hours per week.”

 

Gray’s package of health bills will be referred to policy committees and set for public hearings in the coming weeks.

 

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Assemblymember Adam C. Gray represents the 21st Assembly District which includes all of Merced County and portions of Stanislaus County.