Assembly Health Committee Moves Forward on Waiver Update

In a short meeting of Assembly Health Committee today, the committee members passed AB1066 by Speaker Perez related to the “Bridge to Reform” portion of California’s 1115 Medicaid Waiver. The bill gained bi-partisan support.

The bill would enact some technical and conforming statutory changes that would enable the state to move forward with the “Bridge to Reform” plan, which would put California on a glide path toward full Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The bill also puts into law the specific formulas to make funding available for the state’s public hospitals.

The county-based Medi-Cal expansion, or Low-Income Health Programs (LIHP) planning is already underway in California counties. Though all 58 counties have expressed interest in participating in the program, the extent to which they decide to implement expansion has been left to county discretion. Some counties see the health and financial benefits of expanding coverage to as many as possible and providing coverage to those who might otherwise seek more expensive acute care in public hospital settings. However, many other counties are proceeding with a great deal of caution, proposing measured incremental expansions.

We encourage advocates to contact your county supervisors to ask that they aggressively pursue this opportunity to draw down federal funding and to provide much needed health services in your community. For more information on how your county is proposing to implement LIHP, click here. For additional advocacy tools for robust implementation of LIHP, please click here.

The bill moves on the Assembly Appropriations.

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