Public Policy



UPDATE: June 5th, 2020

This week, the CA Assembly and the CA Senate agreed to reject the Governor’s planned budget cuts to essential services for older adults and adults with disabilities, and put forth a new budget proposal preserving this funding. We are very encouraged by this action, but it is CRITICAL that we communicate to Governor Newsom how important it is that Adult Day Health Care/CBAS and MSSP be part of the California Plan for addressing the current and future needs of our aging population.

TAKE ACTION NOW >> Contact the Governor:

  • Go to
  • Enter your name, email, and choose option “Budget Proposal 2020-21” 
  • You will then be able to send a message to the Governor. Here is a suggested message:
    I support the Legislature’s budget proposal which PRESERVES funding for Adult Day Health Care/CBAS and MSSP. These effective and cost-effective programs must be part of the California Plan for addressing the current and future needs of our aging population.

Tell your state legislators to protect Alzheimer’s resources

Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal (the May Revise) will be a blow to Californians living with dementia – and those who care for them. It eliminates and/or reduces many of the programs that Alzheimer’s families rely on. The most alarming changes are to eliminate Adult Day Health Care/CBAS and Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) as Medi-Cal benefits. It also proposes to reduce In-Home Supportive Services hours by 7% and make additional cuts to investments in Senior Nutrition, Long Term Care Ombudsman, and Caregiver Resource Centers.

***Please call your state legislators and tell them to protect Adult Day Health Care and Multi-Purpose Senior Services Programs. Click here to find your representatives.***

About Adult Day Health Care (ADHC)/Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS):
ADHC/CBAS services is the most cost-effective community-based alternative to skilled nursing facility care, and we believe that the proposal to eliminate the program is extremely shortsighted. Mounting evidence shows that the use of ADHC/CBAS results in decreased use of more costly interventions including emergency room visits, hospital admissions/re-admissions and skilled nursing care. This is made possible through the delivery of essential nursing, clinical, occupational, and other supports to adults with complex medical, cognitive and psychological conditions. Eliminating this program will incur additional financial burdens for the estimated 690,000 Californians living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families and for California through increased Medi-Cal expenditures.

About the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP):
The MSSP program provides services to individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias who are Medi-Cal eligible. MSSP helps to keep this very vulnerable population in their homes and out of costly nursing homes through services such as In-home assistance, care management, legal, nutrition, transportation and health education and screening services. Total costs for MSSP patients are more than 45 percent lower than the cost of nursing facility placement. Federal and state studies show that MSSP lowers healthcare costs, helps patients access the right level of health care services at the right time to prevent more costly care, helps patients find and advocates for critically-needed services in a fragmented and shrinking safety net, and supports local economies through contracts with hundreds of small businesses throughout the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the essential role aging services have in keeping seniors safe and healthy. Shelter-in-place directives have vastly increased the need for services, not only meal and food delivery, but caregiver support, case management and crisis support. Without CBAS, MSSP and IHSS as tools in the continuum of care, we will all lose. The pandemic has shortened the time for public hearings. Legislators are making decisions on the Governor’s proposals soon.

***Please call your state legislators and tell them to protect Adult Day Health Care and Multi-Purpose Senior Services Programs. Click here to find your representatives.***


San Diego County Initiatives

The Alzheimer’s Project

Alzheimer’s San Diego has built an incredible movement to address the devastating toll of dementia locally through the County Alzheimer’s Project. As a key partner, we actively work to raise public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, to provide guidance to local community and government leaders, and to fund Alzheimer’s research projects through Collaboration4Cure, a groundbreaking initiative accelerating local efforts to find a cure. In particular, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has been instrumental in the Alzheimer’s Project and other local initiatives such as the Alzheimer’s Response Team. 

Alzheimer’s Response Team

In 2018, Alzheimer’s San Diego partnered with Grossmont Healthcare District and the County of San Diego to launch an innovative new pilot program: the Alzheimer’s Response Team (ART). This team is specially-trained to work with people with dementia in case of an emergency or crisis, and prevent them from unnecessarily ending up in the emergency room or jail. We are deeply encouraged by the success of the pilot program, which will soon be expanded. Click here to learn more about this innovative program.

Contact Local Representatives

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors are elected to four-year terms. New term limits were passed in 2010, limiting service to two terms. Two of the five supervisors have served since the 1990s and will term out after the next election in 2020. Click here to find your Supervisor to ask them to continue to make Alzheimer’s a priority in San Diego County.

State Initiatives

ab 453 bill advocacy

AB 453: Emergency medical services training

Status: PASSED
Thanks to this legislation, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will now receive training on how to effectively communicate with a person living with dementia, and how to engage family caregivers when responding to a medical emergency. Alzheimer’s San Diego, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, and Alzheimer’s Orange County are proud to have cosponsored this bill. It was signed into law July 2019.

SB 228: Master Plan on Aging

Status: PASSED
This bill requires the Governor to appoint an Aging Czar and a 15-member Aging Task Force to develop a master plan for aging. The master plan will identify the policies and priorities that need to be implemented in California to prepare for the aging population. This bill will require the master plan to address how the state should accomplish specified goals – including expanding access to coordinated, integrated systems of care. It will also require the Aging Task Force to solicit input from stakeholders and gather information on the impact of California’s aging population.

Contact State Representatives

The California State Legislature is the governing body for the state. It consists of 80 members of the Assembly and 40 members of the Senate, each representing specific local districts. Each elected official has an office in Sacramento and locally, where constituents can call or schedule in-person meetings to discuss state priorities. Members of the California Senate are elected to a four-year term and serve specific districts. Members of the California State Assembly are elected to a two-year term and serve specific districts. Click here to find your state representatives and ask them to support these bills.

Federal Initiatives

S.2076/H.R.4256: BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act

Status: PASSED
Alzheimer’s San Diego additionally supported the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, which was passed in 2018. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to authorize the expansion of activities related to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and brain health under the Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program, and for other purposes.

S.880/H.R.1873: Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act

This bill requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to inform health care practitioners about comprehensive care planning services that are available through Medicare for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. The CMS must report its outreach efforts, the number of beneficiaries receiving these services, and any barriers to access.

H.R. 2077: Global Brain Health Act

This bill requires the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with the World Health Organization to develop a plan for addressing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia globally.


S. 1126/H.R. 2283: CHANGE Act

Alzheimer’s San Diego supported the CHANGE (Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer’s Needs to Get to an End) Act when it was first introduced in 2018. This bill will provide better care and outcomes for Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias and their caregivers while also speeding up the progress toward prevention strategies, disease-modifying treatments, and a cure.

S.901/H.R.1903: Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Act

This bill will allow individuals under 60, who have been diagnosed with Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, to be eligible to access programs in the Older Americans Act, including nutritional programs and respite to family caregivers.


Contact Federal Lawmakers

The 116th US Congress, comprised of 100 Senators and 435 Representatives, convened on January 3, 2019 and will end on January 3, 2021. Any bills introduced during the 115th Congress and not yet passed must be re-introduced during the current Congress with a new bill number. Click here to find your Representative and Senators and ask them to support these bills.