Author Archive | Sawait Hezchias-Seyoum

Hearing on “Public Health Impacts of Tobacco Use in California: Problems and Solutions”

The Conference Committee on AB2X 1 (Bonta) and SB2X 2 (Ed Hernandez) held an Informational hearing to discuss the Public Health Impacts of Tobacco Use in California and Problems and Solutions on Thursday, December 17, 2015 in Oakland, California. There were close to 100 people in attendance, constituents and heads of community and state organizations, […]

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Senate Appropriations Committee Hears Key Health Access Bill and Special Session Tobacco Control Legislation

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee heard Health Access sponsored bill, AB 533 (Bonta) on “surprise billing” and select special session tobacco control bills. AB 533 (Bonta), which would protect consumers from surprise bills from out-of-network doctors when a consumer does the right thing by going to an in-network hospital, lab or imaging center was not voted […]

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Close Up on A Key Consumer Protection Bill: AB 339 Prescription Drug Cost Sharing

Today many more Californians have access to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, however many premium-paying patients who are covered still struggle with out-of-pocket costs. Some practices by providers and health insurers unfairly burden patients with unmanageable cost-sharing, interfering with access to care people need. AB339 (Gordon), a Health Access sponsored bill moving […]

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Highlights from California Health Policy Forum Panel on Provider Information Sharing

The California Health Policy Forum held a briefing last week at the Capitol entitled, “Enabling Information Sharing Among California Health Providers: What’s Next?” involving academics, the Department of Health Care Services and community clinics. Panelists provided an overview of the federal and state health information technology (health IT) landscape and perspectives on what’s next in […]

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The Latest on Health Care Bills

This week, the Assembly and Senate Health Committee as well as the Committees on Governmental Organization and Business and Professions heard a number of bills, including key health measures, including Medi-Cal Estate Recovery (SB 33), County Organized Health Systems (SB 260), Rate Review for Large Group Insurers (SB 546)–all passing out of committee. The big […]

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Senate Health Committee Passes AB 248 (Health Insurance Minimum Value) Out on 6-1 Vote

Today, the Senate Health Committee heard AB 248 (R. Hernández) and passed it out on a 6-1 vote, with Senator Nielsen voting no and Senator Nguyen abstaining. Sponsored by Health Access, AB 248 would close a loophole created by federal guidance that allows insurers and health plans to sell subminimum coverage to large employers. Specifically, AB248 protects […]

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Health4All in Sacramento County!

Today, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 approving a budget for the coming fiscal year which includes a staff recommendation to provide indigent care services to undocumented residents. It’s a historic day for Sacramento: the Sacramento Board of Supervisors has made a important start in addressing undocumented Sacramentans’ need for quality, comprehensive health care. The […]

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Covered California Board Meeting – May 21, 2015

The highlight of today’s Covered California Board meeting was a discussion on the proposal to place a monthly cost cap on specialty drugs, a goal for consumer advocates. Today’s proposal came out of a Covered California Specialty Drug Workgroup process, which Health Access, Consumers Union and other consumer advocates participated in. The Board had previously voted […]

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Legislative Re-Cap: After the First Deadline…

Last Friday was the deadline for all policy committees in the California legislature to hear and report on all bills with fiscal implications–and the good news is that many key bills of interest to health care consumers have passed their first critical hearing. While some bills stalled (including almost all of those Health Access opposed but […]

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Senate Health Committee Hearing – Wed, April 29, 2015

Yesterday the Senate Health Committee met for the last time before the May 1st deadline for all fiscal bills. Out of the 25 bills on the committee’s agenda, a handful that were of prime interest to Health Access and health care advocates.  These include: SB 203 (Monning) on sugar sweetened beverages safety warnings; SB 346 (Wieckowski) on hospital […]

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