Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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When it comes to expanding access and improving health care, no Governor in America over the last five years has insured more children, passed more HMO reforms, or invested more in cancer and HIV/AIDS research and treatment, than Governor Gray Davis.

Today, California leads the nation in health-care reform and serves as a model for other states.

#1 IN AMERICA - Health Insurance For Children
As of July 5, 2003, California's Healthy Families Program has enrolled 667,000 children - a twelve-fold increase since Governor Davis took office. Over that period, no state in America has enrolled more children in its S-CHIP program than California.

Expansions in both Healthy Families and Medi-Cal under GGD have moved more than one million children out of the ranks of the uninsured. Overall, California under Gov. Davis has seen the biggest two-year drop in the number of uninsured Californians since those numbers have been recorded.

#1 IN AMERICA - Patient's Bill of Rights/HMO Reform
No Governor in America has signed more patient-protection laws or a stronger Patient's Bill of Rights.

The Governor's HMO reforms have put the medical decisions back where they belong - in the hands of patients and their doctors. They include:
• The right to external, independent reviews of health care decisions.
• The right to sue an HMO in cases of substantial harm.
• The right to cancer and diabetes screenings.
• The right to mental health treatment.
• The right to a second medical opinion.
• The right to privacy of medical records.
• The right to contraceptive coverage.
• The right to hospice care for the terminally ill.
• The right to coverage for all four phases of a clinical trial, for all cancers.
• Access to specialists on an ongoing basis for HIV/AIDS patients.
• Access to an annual, independent HMO report card.

In September 2002, The Governor significantly expanded these rights to include:
• The right to medically necessary prescription drugs.
• The right to timely access to a doctor.
• The right to maternity services without discrimination.
• Affordable health coverage for high-risk conditions.
#1 IN AMERICA - Department of Managed Health Care
To protect patients, Governor Davis established the Department of Managed Health Care, the first of its kind in America.

Already, this Department has served 400,000 Californians. It has also helped 40,000 Californians take on their HMO's and win, enabling them to receive treatment they were otherwise denied.

#1 IN AMERICA - Stem Cell Research
Governor Davis kept California at the forefront of medical research and scientific innovation by making California a safe-haven for ground-breaking stem cell research.

#1 IN AMERICA - Cancer and HIV/AIDS Research and Treatment
Under Governor Davis, cancer and HIV/AIDS research and treatment programs have been funded at their highest level ever.

Gov. Davis established new Breast and Prostate Cancer Treatment Programs. He extended Medi-Cal to include low-income women with breast or cervical cancer. He signed the toughest cancer clinical trials law in the nation.

He signed first-of-its-kind legislation that allows workers with HIV/AIDS to return to work without losing medical coverage. He expanded Medi-Cal to include Californians infected with HIV. He increased investment in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, the largest of its kind in America, providing life-sustaining drug treatment for 25,000 patients. And, he signed into law California's HIV non-name reporting system which recorded 20,943 HIV cases in its first year alone.

#1 IN AMERICA - Meeting the Nursing Challenge
To improve patient care and the working conditions for CA's nurses, Gov. Davis established the nation's first minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios for acute care hospitals.

He also proposed a three-year $60-million Nurse Workforce Initiative to build and train the statewide nursing corps necessary to fulfill established nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

#1 IN AMERICA - Doctor's Bill of Rights
Gov. Davis signed first-of-its-kind legislation to strengthen the position of physicians in managed care contracting. It gives doctors the right to accept no greater patient load than they can reasonably accommodate, the right to negotiate significant changes to their contracts, the right to be notified of changes in HMO policy and the right to terminate a contract if no agreement can be reached on changes.

#1 IN AMERICA - A Woman's Right To Choose
Today, California is, hands down, the pro-choice state in America.

Each and every year, Gov. Davis has signed new laws to strengthen the reproductive rights of California women, including:
• The Reproductive Privacy Act, ensuring that California stays pro-choice, even if the U.S. Supreme Court fails to uphold Roe v. Wade.
• The Contraceptive Equity Act, requiring HMO's to cover FDA-approved methods of contraception.
• The California Freedom of Access to Clinic and Church Entrances Act, which cracks down on those who threaten the safety of our clinics.

Gov. Davis has also taken action to:
• Strengthen family planning services.
• Make significant investments in reducing teen pregnancy.
• Require medical residency programs to provide abortion training.
• Enable pharmacists to initiate emergency contraception.
• Provide emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault.

SB 2 Insuring the Uninsured
SB 2 (3003) by Senator John Burton (D-San Francisco) and Senator Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) will enable almost 1.1 million uninsured persons, representing 32 percent of uninsured employees, to obtain health care coverage through their employers. It also includes important protections for small businesses, which are exempted from the requirement if they meet certain provisions.

As of January 1, 2006, the law will require employers with 200 or more workers to provide "family" coverage to their employees. Employers will contribute 80 percent of the premium with employees paying the remaining 20 percent. As of January 1, 2007, the law will require employers with 50-199 employees to provide "employee only" coverage with a similar 80 percent/20 percent split.

Tobacco Prevention
Under Gov. Davis, California's anti-tobacco campaign has been the largest and most effective in the nation. It was so effective that R. J. Reynolds and Lorillard Tobacco sued to stop it. The suit was dismissed in July, 2003.

Today, California has the second lowest smoking rate in the nation. In addition, six out of nine cancer types linked to tobacco use have a lower incidence rate in California than the rest of the nation.

In September 2002, Governor Davis signed bills to ensure that our tough anti-tobacco laws are being enforced. He required age verification for cigarettes and other tobacco products sold over the Internet or through the mail, ensured that all state taxes are being fully paid on tobacco purchases, and increased the penalty for possessing or purchasing untaxed cigarettes.
He also signed legislation to expand smoke-free zones around public buildings. In addition, he introduced a new hard-hitting anti-smoking ad that graphically depicts the damage caused by secondhand smoke.

Prescription Drug Benefit Program
In 1999, Gov. Davis signed a landmark prescription drug discount program allowing Medicare beneficiaries without drug coverage, to receive discounts for prescription drugs of 20-30 percent. In September of 2002, he signed legislation to make this program permanent and more effective.

West Nile Virus
In 2000, long before the first cases were identified in California, the Davis Administration established a West Nile Virus Task Force and a comprehensive surveillance program.