Today, the Assembly Committee on Health, chaired by Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan, met and took up two bills related to the ACA: SB x1 1 (Hernandez/Steinberg) and SB x1 3 (Hernandez).
SB x1 3 (Hernandez), which as amended would create a “bridge” plan that would allow those in Covered California who had previously been on Medi-Cal to continue with a Medi-Cal “bridge” plan so they can have continuity of care and better affordability, passed out of committee with a vote of 17-0. Senator Hernandez was joined by Health Access and many other organizations who testified in support of this measure on the grounds of continuity of care and affordability.
SB x1 1 (Hernandez/Steinberg), which as amended will implement the Medi-Cal expansion in federal health reform passed out of committee with a vote of 13-5. As stated in committee by Elizabeth Landsberg of Western Center on Law and Poverty, today’s vote on SBx1 1 (Hernandez/Steinberg) was indeed “historic.” It marked an important first step in ensuring health care coverage for all. Cathy Senderling of California Welfare Directors Association also talked about how SB x1 1 (Hernandez/Steinberg) will streamline eligibility rules by reducing the “paper chase” of Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment. Health Access was joined by a slew of organizations, including patient, provider, labor, industry, and community groups in support.