From the editor
By Dorena Ouattara
2008 has already been jump-started within the realm of health care reform. Three days into the year, the State of the State’s Children report gave California a grade ‘C’ for providing health insurance for children. A glaring ‘D+’ was given for the delivery of all overlapping services that impact children’s well-being. (Read the full report here - PDF). In a recent New York Times editorial two studies were cited regarding their findings on the three major health concerns of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, finding that outcomes tend to be significantly higher for persons without medical coverage.
Because the original September 2007 deadline for reauthorization of SCHIP, the critical federal dollars distributed to states to provide coverage to the uninsured, passed with no resolution—although it maintained an over-all bipartisan support--a recent extension (S 2499) was passed by the House. This extension goes through March 2009, allowing individual states to maintain current enrollment numbers.
There are a number of, what some consider to be, potentially viable (though some more than others) policy solutions to our growing numbers of uninsured from our California legislators.
- After having passed through both the Assembly Health Committee and full Assembly, ABX1-1 was defeated by the Senate Health Committee on a vote of 1 - to 7 on January 28, 2008.
- 1. A compromise bill between California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) , Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles)
- 2. Three-bill origination: AB 8 (Núñez) The Full Proposal (PDF), SB 48 (Perata) SB 48, and the California Governor’s Plan (Schwarzenegger) Governor’s Health Care Proposal
- 3. Compromise bill passed by the Assembly on December 17, 2007.
- 4. The bill will be heard by the Senate Health Committee on January 23rd. If it is approved, it will then go to the Senate Appropriations Committee and then to the Senate floor for a full Senate vote.
- 5. Bill promises to cover 3.6 million uninsured Californians, estimated that 1.4 million would be covered by MediCal and/or Healthy Families while approximately 2.5 million would receive benefits through a new coverage pool called “CalCHIPP”.
- 6. Opposition the bill’s financing solutions will be in the form of an Initiative on the November 2008 voting ballot.
See a full comparison of the three bills here (PDF)
- 1. Originally introduced (9/11/07) by co-authors Núñez and Perata, and reintroduced by Governor, Schwarzenegger. Has not been introduced by the governor as regular legislation.
- 2. Mandates that individuals obtain health insurance.
- 3. Requires employers to contribute as much as 4% in payroll contributions to employee coverage through low-cost purchasing pools.
- 4. For more details, see The Full Proposal (PDF).
- 1. Introduced November, 6, 2007. The Assembly Health Committee voted against the bill.
- 2. Titled: is authored by Assembly Republican Leader Michael Villines’ (R-Clovis)
- 3. Allow individual choice of coverage options.
- . Gives tax credits, as well as increases in MediCal payment premiums, to doctors who provide no-cost treatment to those who are uninsured.
- 5. For more details see The Full Proposal (PDF).
- 1. Titled: The California Universal Healthcare Act, this bill is authored by Senator, Sheila Kuehl ( ).
- 2. Senate Bill 840 and its finance companion, bill (SB 1014), passed out of the Senate on June 6, 2007.
- 3. Creates a plan and a “single-payer” public trust fund to pays all health care and insurance for the state. It is intended to replaces all current premiums, taxes, deductibles and co-payments now paid by individuals, employees, and employer through one affordable premium.
- 1. legislative package of multiple bills, some of which have been introduced as legislation as of 10/24/07, by Senate Republicans, please click Summary of the Proposal's Features for more details by CalHealth Reform.