Assembly Bill 368, Food Prescriptions won unanimous and bipartisan support in the Assembly Health Committee and is now awaiting action in the assembly Appropriations Committee. The legislation establishes pilot projects in 3 counties, including Alameda to provide Food Prescriptions for fruits, vegetables, lean protein and other healthy food to members of Medi-Cal Managed Care plans with diet related health conditions.
“The goals of AB 368 are bold, innovative and ambitious. Just as a health provider would write a prescription for an antibiotic for an infection, a prescription for medically supportive food can have the same affect for someone with prediabetes or hypertension,” Assemblyman Rob Bonta told the Committee.
The legislation uses and equity lens to reach Medi-Cal members with the greatest health disparities. ”These health disparities exist because our health care system is stuck downstream. By addressing these health conditions at the front end, we can close the persistent health disparity gaps in our State” said Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan in her testimony to the Committee.
Steven Chen, Medical Director of ALL IN reported that participants in the Alameda County program saw an average of a 16 point reduction in blood pressure. For reference, he said, a 10 point elevation in blood pressure is associated with twice the risk of death from a heart attack or stroke.
The bill has a new author, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes, D- San Bernardino, as Assemblyman Rob Bonta was recently sworn in as Attorney General. In addition to serving as Majority Leader, Ms. Reyes is a member of the Assembly Budget Committee.
How to help: The legislation is awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee with action expected before May 21.
To support the legislation, please submit your organizational letter to the Assembly Appropriations Committee at email@example.com Subject line: RE: Assembly Bill 368, Food Prescription Pilot Program – Support
To support the budget funding request, please submit your organizational letter of support via email to AsmBudget@asm.ca.gov, BudgetSub1@asm.ca.gov, and SBUD.Committee@senate.ca.gov Subject line: Food Prescription Pilot Program Funding Request – $1.65M – Support
Note: Support letters should be signed and submitted on letterhead.
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