AB 1400 – CaliforniaStatus: In Process
Year Introduced: 2021
Guaranteed Health Care for All.
Existing federal law, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), requires each state 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 enrollment of qualified individuals and qualified small employers in qualified health plans as required under PPACA.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, 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 California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, would create the California Guaranteed Health Care for All program, or CalCare, 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 CalCare 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 the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, 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 CalCare, which would then assume responsibility for all benefits and services previously paid for with those funds.
This bill would create the CalCare Board to govern CalCare, made up of 9 voting members with demonstrated and acknowledged expertise in health care, and appointed as provided, plus the Secretary of California Health and Human Services or their designee as a nonvoting, ex officio member. The bill would provide the board with all the powers and duties necessary to establish CalCare, including determining when individuals may start enrolling into CalCare, employing necessary staff, negotiating pricing for covered pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, establishing a prescription drug formulary, and negotiating and entering into necessary contracts. The bill would require the board to convene a CalCare Public Advisory Committee with specified members to advise the board on all matters of policy for CalCare. The bill would establish an 11-member Advisory Commission on Long-Term Services and Supports to advise the board on matters of policy related to long-term services and supports.
This bill would provide for the participation of health care providers in CalCare, including the requirements of a participation agreement between a health care provider and the board, provide for payment for health care items and services, and specify program participation standards. The bill would prohibit a participating provider from discriminating against a person by, among other things, reducing or denying a person’s benefits under CalCare because of a specified characteristic, status, or condition of the person.
This bill would prohibit a participating provider from billing or entering into a private contract with an individual eligible for CalCare benefits regarding a covered benefit, but would authorize contracting for a health care item or service that is not a covered benefit if specified criteria are met. The bill would authorize health care providers to collectively negotiate fee-for-service rates of payment for health care items and services using a 3rd-party representative, as provided. The bill would require the board to annually determine an institutional provider’s global budget, to be used to cover operating expenses related to covered health care items and services for that fiscal year, and would authorize payments under the global budget.
This 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 CalCare. The bill would create the CalCare 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 prohibit specified provisions of 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 CalCare 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 website.
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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