San Jose Mercury News Recommends Approval of Several Health-Related Bills
A San Jose Mercury News editorial yesterday recommended that Gov. Gray Davis (D) sign several health-related bills passed by the Legislature this year to help meet the "crying needs" of the state's health care safety net (San Jose Mercury News, 9/10). The legislation includes:
AB 2197: The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), would expand Medi-Cal coverage to HIV-positive individuals who have not received an AIDS diagnosis (California Healthline, 7/1). According to the editorial, the legislation would have a "minimal" cost for the state and would help "thousands of people to live longer, more productive lives."
AB 2420: The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Keith Richman (R-Granada Hills), would require health insurers to cover the cost of injectable medications used in chemotherapy and in the treatment of hemophilia and some other diseases. The editorial points out that the legislation would not "cost the state anything" and does not face opposition from the state's health insurance trade group.
AB 2795: The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Simon Salinas (D-Salinas), would streamline the process that Medi-Cal uses to reimburse hospitals. According to the editorial, the legislation "shouldn't hurt the state -- it has to make the payments anyway -- but making them faster would help hospitals in a big way" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/10).
- SB 1315: The bill, sponsored by Sen. Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto), would establish a "central purchasing agency" of state agencies and private insurance purchasers to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies (California Healthline, 1/25). The legislation could save the state "millions of dollars a year" in prescription drug costs, the editorial states.