The Special Session on health reform implementation continued this week with hearings in both Senate and Assembly Health to consider ABX1 2 (Pan) and SBX1 2 (Hernandez), which implement key reforms of the individual insurance market.
The bills would prohibit insurers from denying coverage or discriminating against people who have pre-existing conditions, limiting how much more insurers can change based on age. The bills also phase-in new insurance market rules.
In Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, SBX1 2 (Hernandez) passed out of committee on a party line vote.
In Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, ABX1 2 (Pan) passed with some bipartisan support: votes in support came from the Democratic Senators and GOP Senator Anderson.
While we are encouraged that these important reforms for those who are able to purchase insurance are moving forward, we are concerned that the Governor continues to delay expansion of the Medi-Cal program for the uninsured. Low-income Californians who meet income thresholds and are not currently eligible for public programs could be covered under Medi-Cal starting in 2014, with the federal government picking up 100% of the cost for the first 3 years. We continue to look to the Governor to take urgent action to expand quality and affordable healthcare to all Californians, regardless of income.