Assembly Health Committee Approves Bills Intended To Expand Health Coverage
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday approved three bills that would provide health coverage for uninsured California residents, the AP/Modesto Bee reports (Lawrence, AP/Modesto Bee, 4/29). The proposals are summarized below:
AB 30, sponsored by Assembly member Keith Richman (R-Northridge), would provide health coverage for approximately two million low-income, uninsured childless adults by expanding access to the Healthy Families program (California Healthline, 12/23/02). The bill would be funded by a combination of state and federal funds and would require a federal waiver to take effect.
AB 1527, sponsored by Assembly member Dario Frommer (D-Los Angeles), would require businesses with more than 50 employees to cover at least 80% of the cost of health insurance for their workers or contribute to a state health insurance fund.
AB 1528, sponsored by Assembly member Rebecca Cohn (D-Saratoga) would require businesses to pay at least 75% of the cost of employees' health insurance or contribute to a state fund. Further, workers who opt out of their employers' health coverage would have to buy their own insurance. The bill requests that state subsidies be granted to low-income residents to purchase their own health insurance (Lawrence, AP/Modesto Bee, 4/29).
In addition, the Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday passed two health coverage bills. A bill (SB 2) sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) is similar to those proposed by Cohn and Frommer, while another bill (SB 921), sponsored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles), would set up a single-payer system in the state (Kurtzman, San Jose Mercury News, 5/1).
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