Momentum on a Statewide Solution to End Surprise Emergency Room Bills

On Tuesday, April 16th  Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital announced a proposal to be considered by the San Francisco Health Commission to end the practice of “balance billing,” where insured patients get billed the remaining balance after insurer payment of an emergency room bill. This practice can leave patients with bills in the tens of […] Read More

Thank You to Nancy Gomez’s Decade of Health Care Consumer Advocacy

In early 2008, before there was an Affordable Care Act or even a clear indication of who the candidates for President would be, Health Access joined the national effort to pass comprehensive health reform: Health Care for American Now (HCAN). We knew we couldn’t win health reform with President Bush still in office, but we […] Read More

Legislation to Deter ‘Pay for Delay’ Agreements Passes Key Judiciary Committee

A first-of-its-kind state legislation to prevent “pay-for-delay” pharmaceutical company pricing practices passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee today with bipartisan support. The California bill seeks to prevent brand name drug manufacturers offering patent settlements to pay generic companies to delay the introduction of lower-price medication to the market. The bill, AB 824 authored by Assemblymember Jim […] Read More

New DOJ Position to Strike Down ACA in Full Puts The Health Coverage of Millions at Risk

The U.S. Justice Department filed a letter earlier this week indicating a major shift in position, agreeing with a December 2018 ruling by Judge Reed O’Conner in Texas vs. United States to strike the entirety of the Affordable Care (ACA), due to the supposed unconstitutionality of the individual mandate in the law and its inseparability from […] Read More

California Legislative Committees Consider Major Health Coverage Expansions

Last week, California legislators heard and considered major proposals to expand access and increase affordability for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and which together would cut the state’s uninsured rate in half. One proposal, SB 29 (Durazo), to expand Medi-Cal to all income-eligible Californians regardless of immigration status, received 7-1 vote in the Senate Health […] Read More

California Coalition & Legislators Unveil Care4All California Plan to Cut Uninsured Rate & Make Coverage More Affordable

Care4All California, a campaign of more than 70 consumer, community, labor, progressive and health care organizations, unveiled a plan made up of a package of bills and budget items that together will move California closer than ever to universal coverage by eliminating many remaining coverage gaps, improving quality and equity, and reducing prices for health […] Read More

New Bill to Lower Drug Prices Targets Practice of “Pay-for-Delay”

Consumer advocates cheered the introduction of a bill to address the outrageous pharmaceutical company practice of “pay for delay,” where drug manufacturers offer patent settlements to pay generic companies to delay the introduction of lower-price medication to the market. According to an FTC study, “these anti-competitive deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs […] Read More

In First State of the State, Governor Newsom Outlines Big Ideas on Health Care Affordability

In his first State of the State address, Governor Newsom outlined big ideas on health care.  Governor Newsom is right to focus on the affordability crisis in California, given the costs of health care, housing and other expenses in our state. From premiums to prescription drug prices, the Governor pinpointed the problem that Californians are struggling […] Read More

New Covered California Report Outlines Options for Affordability Assistance for Health Insurance

Following the release of 2019 enrollment numbers earlier this week that show steady overall enrollment but a 23% drop in new sign-ups, Covered California today put out a new report detailing various options for increasing affordability assistance for low- and moderate-income Californians who buy health insurance as individuals. The report, commissioned by the Legislature in last year’s […] Read More