Our Holiday Party, and more…

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

* Full Coverage on New Legislature, Budget, and Reform News at Health Access WeBlog

* Health Access/CPEHN Holiday Party in Oakland: THURS, DEC 11th, 4-7pm
You are invited! Drinks and good company, including with CA Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Max’s Diner & Bar, 500 12th St; RSVP to Jessica Rothhaar,

* Positions Available: No. California Organizer; Statewide Online Organizer
Job descriptions on website; Resumes and cover letters to

Here in Sacramento earlier this week, a new legislature was sworn in, with appropriate ceremony, and the feeling of both the hope of a fresh start and new leadership, and dread of a looming budget deficit that went unresolved–if not made worse–in the last legislative session. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has many new members, and gained three more Democratic seats since last session, although three shy of a 2/3 majority. She is joined by new Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who set new prioirities and initiatives for the Senate, including on the budget, and health care reform.

In the last two weeks, much has happened with regard to the budget crisis, from the failure of a proposed package of mid-year cuts and revenues in the lame-duck legislative session, to the threat of a waiting list in the Healthy Families program; with regard to new regulations prohibiting “balance billing” on consumers; and with regard to new leadership of the legislative health committees, and of the state’s Medi-Cal program.

Finally, there’s been a lot of action with regard to federal health reform, from appointments by President-elect Obama, to movement in Congress in the House and Senate.

All of these stories have been fully reported and are being updated regularly on our blog, at the Health Access WeBlog, which you can click to get more details on the following stories:

* Victory on Balance Billing: Court Upholds DMHC Decision to Stop Unfair Billing of Patients
Alquist to Chair Senate Health; Jones to Chair Assembly Health
* Excerpts from New Sen. Pres. Steinberg’s Swearing-In on Health Care & Budget
* The Challenge of Children’s Coverage: Why Kids May Lose Coverage…
Orzag at OMB: The Crucial Role of the Crafters and Evaluators of Reform
* The New Team on Health Reform: In the Obama Admin, the House, the Senate
* The Budget Choices: A Final Vote for the Lame-Duck Legislature
The Insurer’s Health Reform Plan: Guaranteed Issue, But What Else?
* Leadership Changes at Medi-Cal: Maxwell-Jolly, Douglas To Replace Shewry, Rosenstein
* Chairman Henry Waxman and the Improved Prospects for Federal Health Reform
* Health Access’ 20th Anniversary: Previews and Reviews,
The Best and Worst of Times
* California Congressional Delegation Steps Up on Health Reform

We’ll continue to post up-to-the-minute information about health and budget issues, both at the state and federal levels, in the legislature and at the agencies and administration.

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