A big job ahead…

A little more on Governor-elect Brown’s appointments today, and the challenges and opportunities they face:

Diana Dooley, the new Health and Human Services Secretary, will be at the crosshairs of the new Administration, facing tough budget times, but also unprecedented opportunity under new federal health law and Medicaid waiver. Ana Matosantos, continuing as Finance Director, will face new challenges to consider new options under new Governor.

It is appropriate that Governor-elect Brown has started making his appointments in two key areas where early action is crucial–the budget and health care. There’s urgent work on addressing on the budget, and implementing and improving upon the new federal health law.

In her new position, Diana Dooley will have the best of times and the worst of times, facing the prospect of awful cuts due to the state budget crisis, while having new and unprecendented opportunities for improving health care due to the new federal health law. The job will be to limit the damage of the state budget crisis while taking advantage of every opportunity for new federal funds and new policy innovations that the new federal law has to offer California.

Ana Matosantos will have the same position but under a new Governor, one that has said he is willing to put everything on the table, cuts and revenues. Even in a bad budget time, the new Administration offers the possibility of better choices, working toward a budget that maximizes–rather than limits–federal funds for our health system and our economy.

We congratulate them and look forward to working with them in their new positions.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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