Health bills get off suspense… Auf Wiedersehen

For bills going through the legislative process in California, one minute they’re in and the next, either they’re out and on their way to a floor vote next week or held in suspense and dead for the year. Call it the day of deciding California’s Next Top Model Legislation.

At the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, chaired by Senator Christine Kehoe, we were pleased to say a fond Auf Wiedershen to six bills of interest to health care consumers.(For a fuller list of bills of interest to health care consumers pending in the Legislature, visit the Health Access California legislation web page, and print out the Health Access California bill list.)

First up, Senator Alquist’s two bills that deal with the individual market and the exchange, SB 890 and SB 900. Authored by the Chair of the Senate Health Committee with the Senate President Pro Tem, these are flagship bills in the effort to implement health reform. (The Health Access California website has a list of bills specifically around the theme of implementing and improving health reform.)

Second, Senator Leno’s bill on rate review (SB 1163) and his bill on timely access (SB 1200). Next, Senator Price’s bill allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s coverage through age 26 (SB 1088) and lastly, Senator Steinberg’s bill (SB 1283) regarding health care grievances.

In all these cases, congratulations, you’re out- Auf Wiedershen! And the next stop is the Senate Floor with votes as early as next Tuesday, June 1—so health care advocates should get your letters of support out to the full Senate today if possible.

Of those that remained held on suspense and dead for this year include Senator Cox’s bill SB 1063 on the Healthy Families Program, and Senator Price’s bill SB 1409 concerning the South LA hospital project fund.

The deadline for floor action is next Friday. We will have a report later today on the Assembly Appropriations Committee which is meeting later this morning.

(Thanks to Beth Capell and Nellie Price for covering the hearing.)

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