Lots of bills were filed today, as it was the last day to submit legislation. Health Access will be reviewing all the bills, looking for those of particularly interest to health consumers.
One note from today: the single payer bill has a new author and number. In the current decade, it was first introduced by Senator Sheila Kuehl in 2003, as SB921(Kuehl). A subsequent version, SB840(Kuehl), passed the legisature–without financing–twice, and was vetoed twice by Governor Schwarzenegger. With term limits ending the legislative stint of Senator Kuehl, the new bill this year comes under the authorship of San Francisco Senator Mark Leno, as SB810(Leno).
As one of the last bill numbers, it serves as a bookend for SB1(Steinberg), the bill to ensure coverage for all children. Senator Alquist and Assemblyman Jones, chairs of the respective health committees also have comprehensive reform bills, although now they only include intent language. There’s certainly the vehicles for a continued effort for health reform at the state level, even as the debate intensifies in Washington, DC.
There are many other bills with specific health reforms as well, and we’ll have a list of some of the key ones soon.