With new amendments published today, the Assembly passed the bill, AB x1 1 (Nunez), 46-31, on a party line vote, with the Democrats in support, and Republicans against.
Senator Perata put out a statement that asked the LAO to give an analysis about the “budget neutrality” of the proposal.
So we’ll see what happens.
FYI, Health Access California put out a “support if amended” letter on AB x1 1 (Nunez), asking to move the bill forward, but conditioning full support on seeing the ballot language on financing, and getting clarifications on affordability for consumers.
Here’s our letter: ABx1HACasmfloor.doc
Here’s our statement:
“This proposed framework will not just offer affordable coverage to millions of uninsured Californians, but also provide security for those with insurance, to ensure access to coverage in the case of job loss, retirement, divorce, or other changes in life situation. We continue to seek clarifications and assurances on affordability for consumers in the Senate, and look to evaluate the full proposal when we see the financing elements in order to take a final position.”
“This proposal removes many of the barriers that people face in getting coverage, whether it is lack of on-the-job benefits, restrictive eligibility for public programs, or insurers being able to deny for ‘pre-existing conditions.’ The issue is not that people don’t want coverage, but that there are availability, affordability, and administrative hurdles to getting coverage. This proposal doesn’t remove every barrier, but significantly improves the status quo in health care, which is rapidly deteriorating without any reform. In the context of a individual requirement to have coverage, policymakers can no longer ignore this issue, and they have an obligation to remove those barriers, now and into the future.”