California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Schwarzenegger Takes Action on Rescissions, Other Health Bills

On Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed and vetoed several health care-related bills, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.

However, Schwarzenegger has yet to take action on two bills (AB 1602 and SB 900) that would set up a statewide health insurance exchange under the federal health reform law. Thursday is the last day for the governor to sign and veto legislation (AP/Ventura County Star, 9/29).

Vetoed Bills

Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2540, by Assembly Member Hector De La Torre (D- South Gate), which would have made it illegal for a health plan to collect a policyholder's premiums and then rescind coverage after the member becomes ill.

Schwarzenegger said he vetoed the measure because it would duplicate provisions that already are included in the federal health care reform law and other bills he plans to sign (McGreevy/Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 9/30).

Other bills Schwarzenegger vetoed include:

  • AB 2042, by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), which would have prohibited health plans from raising rates more than once each calendar year;
  • AB 1600, by Assembly member Jim Beall (D-San Jose), which would have required most health insurers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness;
  • AB 113, by Assembly member Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), which would have required most health insurers to cover mammograms (AP/Ventura County Star, 9/29);
  • AB 542, by Feuer, which would have prohibited the state from providing Medi-Cal reimbursements for certain preventable medical errors. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program;
  • SB 56, by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), which would have authorized certain local health programs to form joint ventures (Office of the Governor release, 9/29); and
  • SB 1119, by Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), which would have required nursing employment agencies to verify whether nurses are fit to work (Los Angeles Times, 9/30).

Signed Legislation

Schwarzenegger signed AB 1503, by Assembly Member Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), which requires physicians who provide emergency medical services in hospitals to give discounts to uninsured or very low-income patients who face high medical costs (AP/Ventura County Star, 9/29).

The governor also approved SB 1237, by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), which requires hospitals to disclose and record radiation overdoses that occur during CT scans (Los Angeles Times, 9/30).

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