CAHU Health Care Reform Update
The AHCA continues to make its way around in the House and is set for a floor vote later this week. Work has been fast and furious on this bill, most recently with a manager's amendment announced Monday evening. We will continue to watch developments and bring you breaking news as it unfolds.
On March 9, 2017, the CAHU Legislative Council gathered in Sacramento to review nearly
100 recently introduced bills. The Legislative Council recommends positions to the CAHU Board of Directors.
This year's bill review meeting was unique in that so many bills are being moved as placeholders (spot bills) in anticipation of what happens with federal action on the American Health Care Act. These placeholders will then be amended to contain specific provisions in response to those actions. A number of bills required lengthy discussions. The Legislative Council recommended that CAHU take action on 16 measures ranging from new coverage mandates to health plans mergers and acquisitions.
The bill review was timely as the first wave of policy hearings have been scheduled in the Capitol. Bill topics range from new, costly reporting mandates to economically helpful Health Savings Account tax conformity. Most importantly, these bills will directly impact you, your clients and your wallets.
Some of the bills CAHU took positions on include:
AB 989 (Cooper) and AB 1140 (Obernolte): CAHU is working with NAIFA California and IIAB-Cal to SUPPORT AB 989 and AB 1140 to conform state and federal tax laws on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in order to provide needed savings to public and private sector employees and employers. The two bills differ slightly in that the dates they would take effect are a year apart. Both bills are currently set for hearing in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on March 27, 2017. CAHU Position: SUPPORT
SB 199 (Hernandez): CAHU is concerned SB 199 will place substantial new reporting mandates on all employers, regardless of size, who privately self-insure for health care for their employees. SB 199 is set for hearing on April 19, 2017 in the Senate Health Committee. CAHU Position: OPPOSE Unless AMENDED
SB 374 (Newman): All grandfathered plans are negatively impacted by SB 374. SB 374 mandates that all individual, small and large group grandfathered plans must be changed to include mental health coverage beginning January 1, 2018. This has the effect of ending all grandfathered plans in California. SB 374 is set for hearing on March 29, 2017 in the Senate Health Committee. CAHU Position: OPPOSE
SB 562 (Lara/Atkins): Government-mandated health care is CAHU's top priority bill in 2017. CAHU is working with NAIFA California and IIAB-Cal to OPPOSE SB 562 that seeks to replace California's healthcare marketplace with a universal Single Payer system that abolishes private health insurance in California. No hearing yet set. CAHU Position: OPPOSE
It is vitally important that all CAHU members engage in the effort to defeat this bill. Each chapter should encourage members to participate in the Adopt-A-Leg (AAL) program and initiate dialogue with their legislators. To prepare members, CAHU is developing communications to give members the knowledge and game plan of how to effectively communicate that single payer is not the best solution to California's health care problems. We will kick off this campaign on Thursday, April 6 with a statewide phone conference and workshop. REGISTER HERE Please watch your CAHU mail for more details and action items going forward.
CAHU will be working on all the bills that made the CAHU Priority Bill List over the next few months as the Legislature continues to act on these bills. More bills are likely to be added to the list as measures are amended during the hearing process. Please click here for entire list.
Be sure to attend CAHU Capitol Summit (May 8-10 in Sacramento) to learn the latest on these and other measures and how you can help make a difference. Registration is Open!