Lawmakers Introduce Medi-Cal Expansion Bills in Assembly, Senate
On Monday, lawmakers introduced bills in the Assembly and the Senate that would expand Medi-Cal coverage to more than one million additional individuals, the Ventura County Star reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 1/28).
State lawmakers met Monday during a special legislative session on health reform initiativesÂ (Mishak, Los Angeles Times, 1/29). Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for the special session during his State of the State address last week.
Details of Medi-Cal Expansion
The expansion would affect individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level -- or $15,415 annually (California Healthline, 1/28).
The Medi-Cal expansion bills introduced on Monday are:
- AB 1X-1, by Assembly Speaker John A. PÃ©rez (D-Los Angeles); and
- SB 1X-1, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) (Ventura County Star, 1/28).
PÃ©rez said, "California is the national leader on implementing health care reform, and I am pleased to be authoring this critical measure, which will ensure more Californians have access to quality, affordable health care" (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 1/29).
Steinberg said, "Expanding health care coverage brings stability to California's wider economy, especially young adults, the Latino community and the self-employed" (Ventura County Star, 1/28).
However, Assembly member Dan Logue (R-Marysville) said lawmakers should not expand Medi-Cal without increasing the number of health care providers.HeÂ questioned whether the state has "the personnel to be able to handle" the expansion and whether this is "going to be massive rationing for health care." Logue said, "If everybody has health insurance and nobody has health care, what good is it?" (Sacramento Bee, 1/29). 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.