Health and Human Services
Health Care Special Session
While it was a generally quiet week for the Health Care Special Session, the Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services Committee did convene a hearing on ABX2 15 – the End of Life bill by Assembly Member Susan Eggman. Additionally, Assembly Member Susan Bonilla introduced another tax measure into the special session called “The Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act.” Additional details are provided below.
End of Life Bill
ABX2 15 (Eggman) – Watch
As Introduced on August 17, 2015
ABX2 15 would enact the End of Life Option Act authorizing an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, as defined, to make a request for a drug prescribed pursuant to these provisions for the purpose of ending his or her life.
This bill is a reintroduction of the regular session’s SB 128, by Senator Wolk, which failed to meet the deadline in the Assembly Health Committee and is now a 2-year measure.
ABX2 15 was passed by the Assembly Public Health and Developmental Services Committee and will be heard next in the Assembly Finance Committee.
Cocktails for Healthy Outcomes Act
ABX2 18 (Bonilla) – Pending
As Introduced on August 31, 2015
ABX2 18, Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, would impose a surtax of $0.05 on every individual purchase of a cocktail from an on-sale licensee for consumption or other use starting January 1, 2016.
It is unclear how the revenue from this proposal would be directed. CSAC is monitoring the bill.
The end of session is quickly approaching, with September 11 set as the last day for the Senate and Assembly to pass bills. Several bills are awaiting action by the Legislature, while some have already failed deadlines or are awaiting the Governor’s action. Highlights from actions taken this week are included below.
IHSS Collective Bargaining
AB 211 (Gomez) – Pending
As Introduced on February 2, 2015
AB 211, by Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez and sponsored by SEIU and UDW seeks to shift the responsibility for collective bargaining on IHSS provider wages and benefits for all 58 counties on January 1, 2016. The bill cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday and is currently on the Senate floor. AB 211 has never been amended since its original introduction on February 2, 2015.
The bill was placed on the Inactive File on Wednesday at the request of Senator Kathleen Galgiani and will likely be held until next year.
Maximum Family Grant
SB 23 (Mitchell) – Pending
As Introduced On December 1, 2015
Senate Bill 23, by Senator Holly Mitchell, would repeal the exclusion of an additional child born into a family that has been on CalWORKs for ten consecutive months prior to the birth of the child, for purposes of determining a family’s maximum aid payment. It would also prohibit the conditioning of applicant or recipient’s eligibility for aid on their disclosure of information regarding rape, incest and contraception.
Because of resistance from the Administration on this proposal, it is possible the author will place it on the inactive file and held until next year for a possible vote.
Medi-Cal Demonstration Bills
Both Waiver bills – SB 36 (Hernandez) and AB 72 (Bonta) – are currently serving as the legislative vehicles to implement the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for California’s successor Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver.
DHCS and CMS are actively engaged in Waiver discussions, however to date, there have been no major updates provided to interested parties. Both bills have moved to the floor of the second house with no amendments; however we anticipate amendments to extend the current demonstration period to be introduced shortly.
SB 478 (Huff) – SUPPORT
As Amended August 18, 2015
SB 478, by Senator Bob Huff and co-sponsored by the County Welfare Directors Association of California and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, seeks to authorize county welfare agencies that choose to opt in to develop a pilot program for internet-based reporting of child abuse and neglect, increase efficiency and reduce costs related to the transmission of written reports. Recent amendments would require participating counties to develop outcome measures and to report to the Legislature on the effectiveness of the program by January
The measure was passed by the Assembly and the amendments received concurrence by the Senate. SB 478 is now headed to the Governor’s desk for action.