California State Legislature
|Bill Title||The Healthy California Act.|
|Hispanic Sponsors||CA Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-CA-033); CA Sen. Toni Atkins (D-CA-039)|
|NHCSL Task Force||
|Primary Issue Area||Labor and Employment|
Labor and workforce development
|Session||2017-2018 Regular Session|
Existing federal law, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted various health care coverage market reforms that took effect January 1, 2014. PPACA required each state, by January 1, 2014, to establish an American Health Benefit Exchange to facilitate the purchase of qualified health benefit plans by qualified individuals and qualified small employers. PPACA defines a "qualified health plan" as a plan that, among other requirements, provides an essential health benefits package. Existing state law creates the California Health Benefit Exchange, also known as Covered California, to facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans by qualified individuals and qualified small employers. Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 (Knox-Keene), provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. Existing law provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid program provisions. This bill, the Healthy California Act, would create the Healthy California program to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state. The bill, among other things, would provide that the program cover a wide range of medical benefits and other services and would incorporate the health care benefits and standards of other existing federal and state provisions, including, but not limited to, the state's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medi-Cal, ancillary health care or social services covered by regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities, Knox-Keene, and the federal Medicare program. The bill would require the board to seek all necessary waivers, approvals, and agreements to allow various existing federal health care payments to be paid to the Healthy California program, which would then assume responsibility for all benefits and services previously paid for with those funds. This bill would also provide for the participation of health care providers in the program, require care coordination for members, provide for payment for health care services and care coordination, and specify program standards. The bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would develop a revenue plan, taking into consideration anticipated federal revenue available for the Healthy California program. The bill would create the Healthy California Trust Fund in the State Treasury, as a continuously appropriated fund, consisting of any federal and state moneys received for the purposes of the act. Because the bill would create a continuously appropriated fund, it would make an appropriation. This bill would create the Healthy California Board to govern the program, made up of 9 members with demonstrated and acknowledged expertise in health care, and appointed as provided. The bill would provide the board with all the powers and duties necessary to establish the Healthy California program, including, but not limited to, determining when individuals may start enrolling into the program, employing necessary staff, and negotiating and entering into any necessary contracts. The bill would also require the Secretary of California Health and Human Services to establish a public advisory committee to advise the board on all matters of policy for the Healthy California program. This bill would prohibit health care service plans and health insurers from offering health benefits or covering any service for which coverage is offered to individuals under the program, except as provided. The bill would authorize health care providers, as defined, to collectively negotiate rates of payment for health care services, rates of payment for prescription and nonprescription drugs, and payment methodologies using a 3rd-party representative, as provided. This bill would prohibit this act from becoming operative until the Secretary of California Health and Human Services gives written notice to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the Assembly that the Healthy California Trust Fund has the revenues to fund the costs of implementing the act. The California Health and Human Services Agency would be required to publish a copy of the notice on its Internet Web site. Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
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