Full Plate of Health Care Bills Pending as legislature Reconvenes

The state Legislature reconvenes on Monday after having a week off for spring recess and the health care agenda is full.

A number of high-profile bills are on the docket before the Senate and Assembly health committees, where they’ll get their first public hearings Tuesday and Wednesday:

-E-cigarettes. SB 140, by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would make tobacco laws and regulations apply to electronic cigarettes.
-Tobacco age limit. SB 151, by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), would raise the legal age for buying tobacco products to age 21.
-Insurance limits. AB 248, by Assembly member Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), would stop health insurers in the large-group market from offering plans with a minimum value of less than 60%, with an exemption for limited wrap-around coverage.
-Vaccinations. SB 277, by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), would eliminate the personal belief exemption as a means of avoiding immunization for school-age children, to prevent spread of diseases such as measles and whooping cough. It also would require schools to include local vaccination rates in mailings to parents.
-Dental Home. AB 648, by Assembly member Evan Low (D-San Jose), would appropriate $4 million for a grant program to set up a virtual dental home program in areas of greatest need in the state.
-Duals project. SB 36, by Hernandez, would require the Department of Health Care Services to apply for a federal waiver to keep the duals demonstration project going.

Up in the next few weeks will be legislation to issue a health-risk warning label on sodas and energy drinks, repeal the 10% Medi-Cal provider rate cut and provide health coverage for undocumented immigrants.


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