Progress Stalls on Bill Allowing Out-of-State Volunteers at Clinics
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee failed to advance a bill (AB 2699), by Assembly member Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), that would have allowed the not-for-profit group Remote Area Medical to enlist out-of-state health professionals as volunteers at no-cost clinics in California, California Watch Blog reports.
The committee's inaction means the measure likely will remain stalled for the remainder of the legislative session.
CNA Opposition to Bill
The legislation faced opposition from the California Nurses Association, which argued that relaxing state licensure requirements could jeopardize patients because the volunteer clinicians would not be accountable to state authorities.
Stephanie Roberson, legislative advocate for CNA, cited recent Los Angeles Times and ProPublica investigations finding that gaps in licensing oversight are magnified when health professionals cross state lines. She said CNA would support RAM in securing temporary licenses for its workers.
Support for Legislation
Pamela Congdon -- executive director of the California Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons -- said her group supports the bill. Congdon added that California residents are in greater need of no-cost clinic services after the state eliminated adult dental benefits through Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program (Jewett, California Watch Blog, 8/13).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.