So the governor’s finally gotten moving on the bill signings, with less than a week left and 596 bills to swipe his pen across.
In today’s list, we have SB350 (Runner), requested by debt collectors, which makes minor technical changes to the landmark AB774 (Chan) anti-hospital overcharging bill last year. Health Access, Consumers Union and Western Center on Law and Poverty closely monitored the bill to make sure the new law, AB774, was not diluted in any way. Health Access took a neutral position on the bill.
As many may recall, consumer advocates scored a major victory — after five years — last year when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that would ban hospitals from charging uninsured and underinsured patients thousands and tens of thousands of dollars for services that they charged insurance companies just a fraction (like 25% of what the uninsured paid). Uninsured and underinsured patients can now pay the same rate as Medicare.
To read more about AB774, click here.