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No Agenda Yet for Special Session

The one-month delay in the legislative special session on health care should not affect the content of the discussion, according to Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who chairs the Assembly Committee on Health.

“The purpose of the special session is that there’s legislation that is really important to get passed prior to the Jan. 1, 2014 [Affordable Care Act] deadline,” Pan said. “So this will allow us to pass these bills and have them take effect prior to that time. So in [terms of the special session move from December to January], it doesn’t change anything.”

In August, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced he would convene a special session in the Legislature after the national election in November, to address elements of the Affordable Care Act. That special session was expected to happen sometime in December.

Two weeks ago, Luis Vizcaino, the HHS deputy secretary of communications, said the session would start after Jan. 7, when legislators return for their regular legislative session.

Brown has not released a specific agenda for the session, but it is expected to include legislation related to the ACA that he vetoed in August because of perceived financial risk to the state if changes were made to the ACA and federal health care subsidies after the presidential election.

With Obama’s re-election, the state can look again at such bills as AB 1461, authored by Assembly member Bill Monning (D-Carmel), which was passed by the Legislature last year and vetoed by the governor. It would reform some aspects of the individual health insurance market.

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