California Healthline Highlights Action on Health-Related Bills by Governor, Legislature
California Healthline highlights action by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the Legislature on several health-related bills. Summaries of the bills and specific actions appear below.
Schwarzenegger signed into law the following legislation:
AB 1799, sponsored by Assembly member Gene Mullin (D-San Mateo), which will extend until 2010 a state income tax donation option to fund Alzheimer's disease research. Under the law, the program must generates a minimum annual amount of funding (AP/Fresno Bee, 8/31);
AB 1925, sponsored by Assembly member Ray Haynes (R-Temecula), which requires school districts to notify the parent or guardian of a student if comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention or sex education will be taught by outside consultants or through an assembly with guest speakers (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 8/31); and
- SB 1426, sponsored by Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-Chula Vista), which requires the Department of Corrections to use generic prescription drugs to reduce costs (AP/Fresno Bee, 8/31).
Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1336, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco), which would have allowed dentists trained in surgery to perform elective cosmetic procedures, including face lifts (Los Angeles Times, 8/31). In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said the idea of allowing oral surgeons to obtain board certification for elective cosmetic procedures "needs to be more carefully reviewed and evaluated" and ordered the Department of Consumer Affairs to examine whether oral surgeons' current training and education levels "form an appropriate base" for certification (Hubbell, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/31).
Summaries of bills approved by the Legislature and forwarded to Schwarzenegger for consideration appear below.
AB 1957, sponsored by Assembly member Dario Frommer (D-Glendale), would allow the state to create a Web site to help California residents buy lower-cost, U.S.-made prescription drugs from pharmacies in Canada (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/28). The bill would direct the Department of Health Services to develop a Web site by July 1, 2005, that would list prices in California and Canada for the 50 most commonly prescribed brand-name medications (California Healthline, 8/27).
AB 2871, sponsored by Assembly member Patty Berg (D-Santa Rosa), would change requirements for cities to administer needle-exchange programs (Los Angeles Times, 8/29). The bill would eliminate a section of state law requiring counties to declare a public health emergency every two weeks to continue operating needle-exchange programs (California Healthline, 8/27).
SB 96, sponsored by Sen. Deirdre Alpert (D-San Diego), would let San Diego add fluoride to the city's drinking water supply, despite previous votes by San Diego residents against fluoridation, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The measure would not allocate funds to cover the estimated $8 million cost of fluoridation, but it would make it easier for the city to secure a grant from the California Dental Association. The San Diego City Council is expected to review the measure when it convenes Sept. 7 (Gardner, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/28).
SB 1144, sponsored by Burton, would direct the state to seek federal permission to buy lower-cost, U.S.-made prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies for state prisons, hospitals and mental health facilities (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/28).
SB 1159, sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-San Jose), would allow physicians or pharmacists to dispense new hypodermic needles to people without a prescription (Los Angeles Times, 8/29).
- SB 1555, sponsored by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), would require health insurers to provide coverage for prenatal and maternity care (Folmar/Marimow, Contra Costa Times, 8/28).
A "once-vociferous campaign" to pass legislation that would regulate workers' compensation insurance rates has "quietly died," four months after Democratic lawmakers "defiantly vowed to pass a measure" that would have faced "a certain veto" from Schwarzenegger, the Sacramento Bee reports. Some insiders said the governor discouraged the Senate from passing such legislation because he wanted to judge the effects of the workers' compensation reforms passed in April, the Bee reports. According to the Bee, Schwarzenegger "held firm against insurance regulation" in the April reforms, but Democrats "later pledged to send a separate rate measure" that would implement standard rules and guidelines for workers' compensation insurance. Democrats said this year's 10% to 14% average rate reductions were inadequate because the cuts did not meet the 20.9% reduction recommended by Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D) (Chan, Sacramento Bee, 8/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.