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Soda Warning Bill Passes Committee; Plan To Insure Undocumented Does Not

The Senate Committee on Appropriations last week passed a bill that would require consumer warning labels on all sweetened beverages sold in California.

Another high-profile health bill seeking to provide health care coverage for the state’s undocumented population was put on hold by the appropriations committee.

SB 1000 by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) would establish the Sugary Drink Safety Warning Act to place the following message on sweetened drinks containing 75 calories or more per 12-ounce serving:

“CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

The bill is designed to help address the diabetes epidemic in California, which is especially high among the state’s Latino population and among children.

The committee’s 5-2 vote sends the bill to a Senate floor vote sometime this week.

The news was not as good for SB 1005 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), a bill to insure the undocumented in California that was billed as the “Health4All” plan.

A study released last week by University of California researchers concluded the plan would have high benefit to California and a relatively minor cost (roughly an additional 2% of the state’s current spending on Medi-Cal).

“The effort to cover all Californians is delayed, but not defeated,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, in a written statement. “With all of the progress California has made under the Affordable Care Act to expand coverage, the next crucial step is to include all Californians, regardless of immigration status.”

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