Big Legislative Week!

The Health4All Bill, SB 1005 (Lara) was heard in Senate Appropriations Committee today and referred to suspense. Here’s a report on that and other legislative and budget updates, from our legislative advocate from Sawait Hezchias-Seyoum:

Today, we are one step closer to providing health coverage for 1.4 million undocumented immigrants. The Senate Appropriations Committee heard SB 1005 (Lara), which would extend health care to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. Health Access was joined by several organizations in support, including PICO California, the Emergency Room Physicians Association, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the California Association of Retired Americans, the California Medical Association and the California Black Health Network and others. The bill, along with other bills on suspense, will meet their fate on Friday, when all bills will either be held or released by Senate Appropriations. A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning to further reveal the cost estimates for the bill.

Another bill of interest to health advocates that was referred to suspense includes, SB 974 (Anderson), which would require Covered California to obtain permission from consumers before sharing their names. Senator Anderson worked with Health Access and other advocates to address outstanding concerns and as a result, Health Access is no longer opposed to SB 974.

Other bills that were referred to suspense include, SB 964 (Hernandez), Health Access sponsored legislation on network adequacy oversight of health plans, SB 1004 (Hernandez) dealing with hospice care, SB 1055 (Liu) dealing with public school health centers and SB 1341 (Mitchell) which seeks to improve the Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment system functionalities. With the exception of Senator Mitchell, legislators waived presentation on these bills, which is often customary.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, chaired by Assemblymember Shirley Weber also met this morning. Highlights from that hearing include, consideration of the elimination of MRMIP, consideration of the significant Medi-Cal estimate adjustment included in the Governor’s budget, and consideration of a pilot program to increase utilization of pediatric vision services utilizing qualified mobile vision providers to expand vision screenings and services in schools. The above items were held open.

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