RAMP engages in a wide range of policy efforts aimed at addressing the burden of asthma. These efforts range from sponsoring state legislation on health housing issues such as pest infestations and mold in homes, to participating in regional and state level regulatory campaigns to improve outdoor air quality, to shaping healthcare financing to support proven asthma interventions.
Below is a sample of the policies that RAMP, in collaboration with key partners, including Community Action to Fight Asthma, is actively supporting. For more general policy approaches to reducing the burden of asthma, click here.
A rule issued by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has exciting implications for financial support for asthma management. Current Medicaid regulations limit coverage of preventive services, such as asthma education, to those provided by a physician or other licensed practitioner. With this new CMS rule, State Medicaid programs, either directly or through managed care contractors, are now able to cover and pay for preventive services delivered by a qualified, non-licensed professional when recommended by a physician or other licensed practitioner. The rule can provide additional support for community-based asthma interventions carried out by certified asthma educators, community health workers, healthy homes specialists, and other qualified, non-licensed professionals.
State Medicaid programs have to adopt the rule before it goes into effect, so RAMP and other partners are currently working with California’s Department of Health Care Services to adopt the Preventive Services Rule.
Outdoor Air Quality/Land Use
- Promoting transformational changes to the state’s freight system
RAMP is addressing the health problems and social inequities created by the state’s freight transportation system – the network of ships, ports, trains, rail yards, distribution centers, trucks, and other equipment that move goods in and across California. In addition to those goods, the freight system brings pollution and quality of life burdens to too many communities, especially low income communities and communities of color. RAMP and its allies in the California Cleaner Freight Coalition advocated for the development of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, designed to encourage transformational changes to the freight system, and are now working on its implementation.
- Promoting public health and equity in regional land use and freight transportation planning
RAMP, as part of the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative (DDDC), advocates for the inclusion of public health and equity objectives within freight transportation and land use plans. In 2015-2016, RAMP and the DDDC shaped the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s and Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Goods Movement Plans, which provide a blueprint shaping freight development for years to come. Now that the plans are final, RAMP and the DDDC will ensure implementation emphasizes public health and equity.
- Promoting Healthy Housing
In partnership with members of the California Healthy Housing Coalition (CHHC), RAMP aims to reduce exposure to asthma triggers associated with substandard housing conditions, such as pests, pesticides, and mold. In 2016, RAMP successfully co-sponsored healthy housing legislation with CHHC partners. AB 2362, by Assemblymember Kansen Chu, is a follow up to 2015’s bill that requires landlords to provide tenants notification before self-applying pesticides. AB 2362 applies the same notification requirements in the context of self-applied pesticide use by homeowner associations (condominiums and townhomes). Here is a fact sheet for the bill (including a list of supporters).
The bill passed the legislature, and was signed by Governor Brown in September 2016. Thanks to all those that have supported our healthy housing efforts, and particularly to the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers and the Center for California Homeowner Association Law who served as co-sponsors of this important legislation.