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Friday, September 19, 2014

Bills Awaiting Governor's Action

As reported previously, the Governor has until midnight, September 30, 2014 to approve or veto legislation passed during the 2014 Legislative Session, which adjourned on August 30, 2014.  There are three key bills of interest to the Alliance, which are awaiting action by the Governor:

SB 1094 (Lara) – ACTION REQUESTED: VETO.  This bill would allow the California Attorney General (AG) to impose new conditions of consent on a nonprofit hospital agreement or transaction, after the approval has already been granted and after the parties have closed the transaction in reliance on the AG’s prior consent.  The main objection to SB 1094 is that it would allow the AG to unilaterally change conditions of a nonprofit hospital sale, transfer, or affiliation after the transaction is completed.  This unprecedented new power would introduce an unacceptable level of uncertainty into hospital transactions, and have a chilling effect on the health care marketplace.

As noted earlier, it imperative that the Governor hears from each of our health systems, as well as hospital CEOs. The California Hospital Association is also suggesting that hospital and hospital system presidents and CEOs telephone the Governor’s Office in Sacramento to request that the Governor veto SB 1094.

SB 1053 (Mitchell) – ACTION REQUESTED: VETO. The bill would expand the contraceptive health care coverage requirements, commonly referred to as the federal contraceptive mandate, under the federal Public Health Service Act, as amended by the Affordable Care, in California state law. SB 1053 contraceptive coverage requirements are broader than the federal contraceptive mandate; does not conform the state definition of religious employer with federal regulations; and, does not provide an accommodation for non-profit religious organizations.

SB 1004 (Hernandez) – ACTION REQUESTED: SIGNATURE.  This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to develop standards and provide technical assistance to managed care plans to ensure that Medi-Cal managed care recipients receive palliative care services. SB 1004 directs DHCS to engage community stakeholders in the development of standards for the provision of these palliative care services. Among several important provisions, this bill would include hospice services that are provided at the same time that curative treatment is available, to the extent that the services are not duplicative, and are provided regardless of the estimated length of time a beneficiary may be expected to live.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bills Awaiting Action by the Governor

Governor Brown has until September 30 to sign or veto bills.   The Alliance has sent letters (attached) to the Governor on the bills listed below.   We encourage our members to also send letters to the Governor - it will be especially important to urge his veto on SB 1094 (Lara) and his signature on SB 1004 (Hernandez).

SB 1094 (Lara) would allow the Attorney General to impose additional conditions on a nonprofit hospital transaction, after the approval has already been granted.  Request the Governor to VETO SB 1094.

SB 1004 (Hernandez) proposes the development of a palliative care benefit under the Medi-Cal program. Request the Governor to SIGN SB 1004.

SB 1053 (Mitchell) would expand in California state law the contraceptive health care coverage requirements, commonly referred to as the federal contraceptive mandate. Request the Governor to VETO SB 1053.

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