Hearing test…

We understand that the Assembly Health Committee will hear both AB x1 1 (Nunez/Perata) and AB x1 8 (Villines) tomorrow. There is not expected to be consideration of AB x1 2, the Governor’s proposal that does not have an author to advance it, and that was the subject of lengthy testimony last week.

Health Access California will by “support if amended” on AB x1 1, the legislative leader’s proposal. The framework and many of the specific policy positions are the ones that we have supported in numerous previous proposals, but we are seeking some amendments and clarifications, and really need to see the whole package–including the ballot language, in order to be fully on board.

We were also prepared to support AB x1 3 (Dymally)–although we understand it won’t be heard tomorrow. It would have helped reform the MRMIP program for those who are “medically uninsurable” and need some access to coverage. It’s a proposal that we may need to come back to if we don’t accomplish major health reform that includes guaranteed issue.

We are opposed to AB x1 8, the Republican leaders’ package, which we view as mostly encouraging high-deductible health plans through the tax code, and undermining the HMO Patient Bill of Rights and other consumer prorections. We agree with the bill’s goal to increase Medi-Cal rates, but the proposal lacks any way to pay for it. The Governor and the legislative leaders both include increased Medi-Cal rates as part of their proposal, but they stepped up with the financing.

Should be an interesting day.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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