Special Session Hearings Convene on Health Care
Also: Legislative Update (see below)
This week, the 2nd Extraordinary Session Assembly Public Health
and Developmental Services Committee followed the Senate’s lead
by convening their informational hearing on the Managed Care
Organization (MCO) tax and Developmental Disabilities.
Chairing this Committee is Assembly Member Rob Bonta, alongside Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, Vice Chair. Other Committee members include Assembly Members: Catharine Baker, Susan Bonilla, Nora Campos, Eduardo Garcia, Marc Levine, Chad Mayes, Miguel Santiago, Marc Steinorth, Mark Stone, Tony Thurmond and Jim Wood.
Similar to the Senate hearing last week, the Governor’s Administration and the Legislative Analyst’s Office provided overviews on the MCO tax, provider rates and Developmental Services.
Assembly Member Bonta noted that there will be two more informational hearings on Medi-Cal and DDS during the week of August 17, prior to hearing bills.
CSAC will continue to provide more details as discussions continue.
SB 140 (Leno) –Support
As Amended on June 1, 2015
SB 140 by Senator Leno would expand the STAKE Act’s definition of tobacco products to include electronic devises that deliver nicotine or vaporized liquids and make it illegal to furnish such products to minors.
The bill was heard by the Assembly Government Organization Committee, where a quite contentious debate occurred. The Committee sought to make several amendments to bill; the most significant being changes to the tobacco definition.
Despite Senator Leno’s testimony, which focused on the public health of California’s children and the need to regulate electronic cigarettes as any other tobacco product, the Committee accepted all of the Committee amendments.
Senator Leno stated that the bill with the amendments was no longer his. The bill was held in Committee.
SB 151 (Hernandez) – Support
As Introduced on January 29, 2015
SB 151, by Senator Hernandez would raise the age for restricted access to tobacco products from 18 to 21. At the request of the author, the bill was pulled from the hearing. It must be heard by July 17, which is the last day bills can be heard in by policy committees.
SB 438 (Hill) – No Position
As Amended on June 29, 2015
Senator Hill focuses on electronic cigarettes through a gut and amend to SB 438. In its prior form, the bill sought to increase the minimum property damage that could be reported for motor vehicle accidents. On June 29, the bill was amended to require cartridges for electronic cigarettes and solutions for filling are in child resistant packages.
His prior bill, SB 24 required child resistant packages in addition to: 1) adding electronic cigarettes to the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement (STAKE) Act; 2) adding electronic cigarettes to smoke free laws; and 3) requiring retailers to apply for a license from the Board of Equalization.
CSAC has not taken an official position on this bill.
Adult Protective Services
SB 196 – SUPPORT
As Amended on June 25, 2015
Senate Bill 196, by Senator Hancock, was passed by the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and now resides on the Senate Floor, awaiting a vote. SB 196 would authorize a county adult protective services agency to file a petition for a protective order on behalf of elder or dependent adults if the adult has been identified as lacking the capacity and a conservatorship is being sought.
Current law authorizes the following persons to seek an order: a conservator or trustee, an attorney-in-fact, a person appointed as a guardian ad litem, or other person legally authorized to seek the order. SB 196 seeks to add a county adult protective services agency as an authorized entity.
CSAC supports SB 196, which is sponsored by the County Welfare Director’s Association of California.
AB 702 (Maienschein) – SUPPORT
As Introduced on February 25, 2015
AB 702 by Assembly Member Brian Maienschein, was placed on Suspense by the Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 702 seeks to eliminate the requirement that temporary housing assistance be provided during one period of consecutive days up to 16 days. Instead, it would limit temporary housing assistance to a maximum of 16 calendar days. The bill was deemed to increase costs because currently families under-utilize the number of days they can receive the benefit.
CSAC supports the measure which would allow counties to better target the intermittent cycle of homelessness by increasing flexibility for the recipient.
SB 33 (Hernandez) – Support
As Amended on June 1, 2015
SB 33 by Senator Ed Hernandez, would 1) limit estate recovery for those ages 55 and over to only the health care services required to be recovered under federal law; 2) eliminate recovery against the estate of a surviving spouse of a deceased beneficiary; and 3) require DHCS to provide notice of total Medi-Cal expenses paid on behalf of the beneficiary that are subject to recovery and post notice on how to request this information on the website. CSAC along with the County Health Executives Association of California and the County Welfare Directors Association of California have taken a support position on this measure, which was passed by the Assembly Health Committee and will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 858 (Wood) – SUPPORT
As Amended July 1, 2015
AB 858, by Assembly Member Wood, initially sought to allow Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics to be reimbursed by Medi-Cal for two visits by a patient with a single or different health care professional on the same day at a single location. On May 28 the bill was amended to added provisions from Assembly Wood’s AB 690, which sought to allow federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) to draw down federal funding for patient visits with marriage and family therapists.
The most recent amendments, removed the original provisions of AB 858 that would allow for reimbursement of two visits in a single day, which mirrors AB 690 – which died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Despite the recent amendments, CSAC supports AB 858 – which has was placed on the Suspense File by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 1436 (Burke) – SUPPORT
As Amended on May 6, 2015
AB 1436 by Assembly Member Autumn Burke creates an authorized representative structure for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program – which enables adults and children who need help with daily living activities remain in their own home rather than being institutionalized. Other county-administered programs, including Medi-Cal, CalWORKs and CalFresh, have statutory or regulator procedures for applicants and recipients to designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf in signing up for the program, receiving services and participating in the appeal process.
AB 1436 would create a statutory authority for an IHSS recipient or applicant to name an authorized representative, which would be completely optional to them.
AB 1436 has had opposition on file and no ‘No” votes to date, however the bill was placed on the Suspense File by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
SB 804 (Senate Health Committee) – Support
As introduced on March 26, 2015
SB 804 updates obsolete references to California Mental Health Directors Association and the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California to reflect the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA). The bill was passed by the Assembly Health Committee and is now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.