June 4th marked a key deadline for the California State Legislature. All bills introduced in the 2021 legislative session had to be out of their respective “house of origin” in order to continue on the legislative track this year.
Due to COVID restrictions the Legislature is operating under physically distanced guidelines and leaders of each house limited the number of bills moving forward. Some bills were held in policy committee (where they are eligible for consideration in January 2022), while others were made 2-year bill in Appropriations Committee, and some were placed on the Inactive File –meaning the bill is dead for the 2021 year.
The following update includes DHLF’s advocacy priorities:
- AB 1400 (Kalra) – Healthcare for All/Single Payer. This bill with its enormous price tag was not referred to committee this year and is now a 2-year bill.
- AB 650 (Muratsuchi) – Mandatory Additional Pay. This bill passed Assembly Labor Committee and was expanded in Assembly Appropriations Committee to apply to ALL public hospitals including the UC hospitals. This bill was placed on the Assembly Inactive File and is essentially dead for this year. It is considered a 2-year bill where it could be removed from Inactive File in 2022.
- AB 1130 (Wood) – Affordability. DHLF has been coordinating our opposition to the bill unless amended to include priority amendments being presented by CHA. The bill will next be heard in Senate Health Committee.
- AB 1132 (Wood) – Consolidation. AB 1132 expanded on provisions of previous versions of the consolidation bill to also include Attorney General review of managed care contracts. This bill was made a 2-year bill by the author.
DHLF was pleased to learn that both the Senate and the Assembly adopted our stakeholder request for a bridge-loan in the amount of $40 million as hospitals transition from the PRIME to QIP program. DHLF will continue advocacy efforts to ensure that this proposal remains in the final budget signed by the Governor.
- Office of Health Care Affordability. The budget provides for robust funding to cover all aspects of the Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA).
- Mandatory Additional pay for healthcare workers. Now that AB 650 was placed on Inactive File (dead for this year but could be considered next year) labor is focusing its efforts on the budget and we will continue to monitor this issue closely to ensure that labor does not mandate a payment to workers through the budget process.
- Telehealth – DHLF advocacy efforts include supporting language from AB 32 (Aguiar-Curry) in the budget regarding reimbursement for telehealth visits.
- Medi-Cal expansion to undocumented adults age 60 and older. DHLF has supported both the bills and the budget proposal in increase coverage for undocumented adults.
DHLF wishes to thank all those who made calls to legislators and staff regarding the devastating effects of AB 650 – your actions helped to persuade legislators to vote no and send that signal to both the author and leadership.
What is State Advocacy?
As hospital CEO’s and leaders in the community, your voice carries weight in the Capitol. Not only are California hospitals providers of health care, in many cases they are the largest employers and partners in the community. Use your voice to let legislators know how a particular piece of legislation will impact your hospital, community and the patients you serve.
Why State Advocacy Matters?
Everyday California legislators are faced with policy decisions – decisions that will impact every aspect of life and business in this state. Responding to alerts for phone calls to legislators and writing support and opposition letters is an effective way of registering your position. Not only will your letters be listed on analyses, they will be delivered to legislators and used to lobby DHLF’s position on legislation.
Other ways to engage in advocacy:
- Invite your legislator and or their staff to tour your facility. Explain the type of services you provide, how many patients your hospital treats each year and important issues affecting your hospital.
- Check to see if your legislator has a “community healthcare roundtable” or other type of community group where he/she meets regularly to discuss issues of concern for the legislative district. Participating in a community group will give you and or your staff the opportunity to hear issues that are concerning to the legislator and will allow you to open lines of communication with your legislator.
- Social media – follow your legislator on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook.
- Share what’s happening at your facility with your legislator and their staff, this will help keep them informed of important issues at your hospital.
- Address 950 Glenn Drive, Suite 250, Folsom, CA 95630
- Email email@example.com
- Phone (916) 673-2020