Health Policy Update

For more information, you can email Melanie Briones or call her at (559) 228-2169.

Use these links to go to sections of interest.

State Perspective

Special Session Legislation

The Cast of characters in the health reform debate has changed:

  1. ABX1-1: (Nœ–ez /Perata): Introduced 11/8/07; Approved by Assembly Committee on Health 11/14/07. Following Thanksgiving the bill will go to the appropriation committee and receive possible amendments. It will then go to full Assembly for a vote. If the bill is passed it moves on to the Senate.
  2. ABX1-2: (Governor's draft legislation: Introduced 10/9/2007, No author) Informational hearing in front of the Assembly Health Committee 10/31/07.
  3. ABX1-8: (Villines/Assembly Republican Caucus): Introduced 11/6/07; Rejected by the Assembly Committee on Health 11/14/07.
  4. CalCare Plus( Senate Republican Package of bills): Introduced 10/11/07.
  5. SB840 (Senator Sheila Kuehl's Single Payor Bill): Did not go to the governor's desk this yearÉheld over for reintroduction next year.

"Script" available with links to full legislation and Blogs di April 25, 2012

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez is postponing the first full floor meeting of the health and water special sessions as Democrats and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continue working toward a compromise.

The session, tentatively set for 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26th was postponed until Dec. 5th and 6th. Senate hearings and floor vote will follow the Assembly action on health reform. Read the full article...

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Voter Support for Financing Health Reform

At least 80% of California voters already have health insurance. This could make it difficult to win approval of new taxes that serve no benefit to most voters, the AP/Chronicle reports.

Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines (R-Clovis) argued that California's rising budget deficit will make it even harder for voters to support a tax increase. He also stated Republican legislators will campaign against the tax increase and added, "This is clearly just a desire to strike a deal." Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle...

Possible Ballot Referendum

If Schwarzenegger signs a final plan, Villines said a June 2008 ballot referendum could overturn the deal, the Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert reports.

Deborah Gonzalez, chief consultant to the Republican caucus, said tobacco companies, pharmaceutical firms and other businesses could potentially fund a referendum on the ballot.

Union Support

Analysts maintain a health care reform deal needs support from unions to win voter approval. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing 600,000 California workers, announced Tuesday that it is backing the Democrats' plan.

Sal Roselli, president of the SEIU state council, said the key to union support was the Democrats' exemption from the individual coverage mandate for residents who would have to spend more than 6.5% of household income on health care costs.

Roselli noted the union is "very close to our bottom line" and could not maintain its support if Democrats' make further concessions to reach a compromise with Schwarzenegger, according to an article by AP/Chronicle.

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California Mental Health Fund Fight Could Go To Court

The State of California and advocates are battling over program cuts for the homeless mentally ill and it appears to be headed for court.

At dispute is a recent decision by Gov. Schwarzenegger to eliminate a successful $55-million program for mentally ill homeless people. Read the full story...

MRMIB Takes Preliminary Action to Disenroll Children from Coverage

Board members of California's Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) took the first step towards enabling the state to put children eligible for Healthy Families on a waitlist, or begin disenrolling eligible children from the program altogether.

Since the September 30th expiration of the SCHIP program, which funds Healthy Families, California has been using up money it has had in reserve. That money runs out on November 16th.

With continued operation of the program as usual, Healthy Families would run out of money and shut down completely from July 2008 through September 2008. Read the Emergency Regulations adopted on November 5, 2007 (PDF)...

Healthy Families enrolls approximately 830,000 children in families with incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level ($20,650 to $51,625 for a family of four). Read the blog...

Go to Federal Health Care Update...