On Tuesday, the state Assembly voted 42-21 to pass a bill (AB 1602) that would enact some of the changes mandated under the federal health reform law, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
The bill, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles), would create a health insurance exchange to help individuals compare plans and purchase coverage. Pérez said the bill's passage would enable the state to receive federal funding to establish the exchange.
Pérez's measure also would:
- Ban lifetime limits on health care coverage; and
- Allow children to remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
Other Health Reform-Related Legislation
Additional measures making their way through the state Legislature aim to enact other elements of the federal health reform law or complement the law's provisions.
On Tuesday, the Assembly voted 41-24 to pass a bill (AB 2244), by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), that would forbid health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions (AP/Ventura County Star, 6/1).
SB 900, by Senate Health Committee chair Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), closely resembles Pérez's bill. Alquist's measure would create a health insurance exchange that includes a website and online calculator to help consumers to compare plans and costs.
Another bill (AB 2578), by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), would require insurers to obtain prior approval from the state's Department of Insurance or Department of Managed Health Care before raising premiums or copayments. Although the health reform law does not mandate such action, Jones said his bill would complement the law's other provisions (Bussewitz, AP/Contra Costa Times, 5/31).
Organ Donor Registry Bill
Meanwhile, the state Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill (SB 1395) designed to create the country's first living organ donor registry.
The bill aims to make it easier for individuals to register as organ donors by requiring them to check a box when they fill out a driver's license application.
The measure now heads to the Assembly (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 6/1).