State Legislative Field Officers Talk to Brawley City Council on Community Health, Unified Hospital District Progress | Features


Improvements in the Brawley-Imperial County medical crisis continue on the path to progress laid out at the City Council meeting here on Tuesday, May 16.

California Rep. Eduardo Garcia’s local local representative, Guillermo Hernandez, provided Congress with an update on the progress of health insurance bill AB 918, saying Garcia is actively working on it.

Hernandez said AB 918 has made great strides in the legislative process and has successfully passed initial approval by local governments. The next step is for the bill to be considered by the Appropriations Committee before it goes to the Senate.

Hernandez said the passage of Bill AB 918 would create a much-needed unified countywide medical district to streamline the current system. The process involves transferring the assets, rights and responsibilities of the Pioneers Memorial Medical District (PMHD) and Calexico’s Heffernan Memorial Medical District (HMHD) to the new medical district. The bill also calls for the establishment of a seven-member interim board representing various stakeholders under the guidance of the Local Government Establishment Commission (LAFCo).

AB 918 will go a step further and require the new board to find a permanent source of funding, subject to voter approval. Hernandez said the bill’s collaborators expect “further amendments to ensure its effectiveness in meeting community healthcare needs.” Proponents of the bill emphasized a holistic approach to address industry and regional challenges.

A related Senate Bill 112 was recently signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom to establish a hospital loan program for nonprofit and public hospitals only. In addition, bills AB 1131, AB 412, and AB A69 address long-term problems by creating opportunities for subsidies, low-cost loans, and interest-free cash flow loans to hospitals in critical condition. further expand the possibilities for solutions. / Or in rural communities. AB A69 notably extends the deadline by which hospitals must meet seismic safety standards, as Pioneers Memorial Hospital struggles to survive financially while planning to remain compliant with state regulations. have raised this issue at previous council meetings.

“These legislative efforts highlight the state’s commitment to systematically addressing healthcare issues and ensuring adequate reimbursement for hospitals,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said a request for a one-time bailout of $1.5 billion has already been submitted to rally support for hospitals and vulnerable communities in California. The package will be distributed proportionally based on Medi-Cal usage, ultimately targeting hospitals serving more Medi-Cal patients, he said.

Hernandez summed up the bailout as “part of a solution to address the structural underfunding of the health system and stabilize the health system in the long term.”

Rep. Eduardo Garcia’s office plans to hold a roundtable with city leaders in the near future to elaborate and collaborate on AB 918 and other important initiatives.

Mr. Hernandez assured councilors and the community that his firm has been actively engaged with stakeholders.

“We have had productive conversations with Heffernan and Pioneer Memorial Healthcare recently,” Hernandez said of progress so far.



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