HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE
Thursday, May 29, 2003
UNIVERSAL ACCESS MOVES FORWARD IN THE SENATE
Senate Appropriations Committee today acted to pass two universal coverage
bills, SB921 by Senator Sheila Kuehl, the single payer bill, and SB2 by
Senators John Burton and Jackie Speier, the employer mandate measure. Both
passed on party-line votes with all eight Democrats voting aye and all five
Republicans voting no. Aye votes included: Alpert, Bowen, Burton, Escutia,
Karnette, Machado, Murray, Speier. No votes were: Battin, Aanestad, Ashburn,
Johnson, and Poochigian.
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE MOVES SOME HEALTH BILLS, TEMPORARILY DELAYS OTHERS
Senate Appropriations acted on a long list of other measures that had fiscal
consequences for state government. SB853 by Senator Marta Escutia to require
HMOs to assure provision of culturally and linguistically competent health
care to Californians with commercial insurance also passed on a 8-4 vote.
SB379 by Senator Ortiz which would provide some protections for self-pay
hospital patients was temporarily held in committee: negotiations are
continuing on amendments to reduce the cost to state government and the
measure may move next week.
MORE ACTION OVER THE NEXT WEEK
By Friday, June 6, Assembly bills must pass the Assembly and Senate bills
must pass the Senate in order to remain alive for this year. Bills that fail
to pass the house of origin by the end of next week are not available to be
heard again until January of 2004.
Also, during the next week, it is anticipated that both houses will debate
and vote on the budget so that the budget conference committee can begin its
work. ATTACHED is an UPDATED Health Budget Cuts SCORECARD, reflecting the
content of the Senate and Assembly budgets with regards to the proposed health
VOTING RECORD ON SB921 AND SB2
Because both of these universal coverage bills have now passed three
committees in the Senate, there is a clear voting record on both. SB2 has been considered by a strict party-line vote.
SB921 Vote Record
18 AYES To Date
NOES To Date
While present during committee votes, Senators Scott and Vasconcellos voted for SB 2 but not for SB 921, raising concerns about the state budget crisis and assuring adequate funding of the health care system in a similar budget crisis in the future. Only five Democratic Senators have not had the opportunity to vote on either bill in committee. They include Senator Gil Cedillo, a co-sponsor of SB 921. Since 21 votes are needed to pass the Senate, advocates for the uninsured should urge these Democrats to vote for SB 2 and SB 921, as well as all Republican Senators.
* Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny – capitol phone/916.445.6767, capitol fax/916.327.3522
district office phone (Chula Vista)/619.409.7690
* Senator Joe Dunn – capitol office phone/916.445.5831, capitol office fax/916.323.2323
district office phone (Garden Grove)/714.705.1580
* Senator Bryon Sher – capitol phone/916.445.6747, capitol fax/916.323.4529
district office phone (San Jose)/408.277.9460
* Senator Tom Torlakson – capitol phone/916.445.6083, capitol fax/916.445.2527
district office phone (Concord)/925.602.6593
Anthony E. Wright
1127 11th St., #234, Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph: 916-442-2308, Fx: 916-497-0921