The California State Assembly passed 3 health related bills today.
AB 70 (Monning) would bolster the state’s ability to respond to and secure prevention funding. This bill is important in ensuring that as we do the work to implement the Affordable Care Act, we are doing so with an eye toward promoting health and preventing illness, which will be essential to lowering health care costs in the long term.
AB 154 (Beall) would require private insurance to cover mental health and substance abuse, moving toward equity in the coverage of physical and mental health. Currently, those private insurance plans that do cover mental health and substance abuse are restrictive, forcing individuals to seek care through public programs, and resulting in a huge cost shift to state and local government and the taxpayers.
AB 441 (Monning) requires health impacts to be considered as part of regional transportation planning. The health of our communities are greatly impacted by broader public policy processes and including health impacts as part of the conversation in other policy discussions is going to be essential to improving the health of the most marginalized communities.
All 3 of these bills now go to the Senate, where they will move through the Committee process before hopefully coming up for a vote on the Senate floor.
The Senate took up SB 810 (Leno) today, which would guaranteed universal single-payer health care for all Californians. The bill garnered 19 votes, 2 shy of those needed to pass out of the Senate. The measure was granted reconsideration, which means it can be voted on again before the January 31st deadline. Senators Padilla, Rubio, Vargas, and Wright abstained, please call them and urge them to support SB 810.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.