Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Special Session to Implement Health Reform Underway in California

Last week, Governor Brown announced a Special Legislative Session so that California can continue to lead the way in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Under this special session, bills signed into law can be deemed effective withing 91 days, as opposed to the traditional process where they would have to wait until next January to become effective. With enrollment into our new insurance exchange Covered California beginning in October, and the individual mandate and Medi-Cal expansion going live on Jan. 1 2014, this session will maximize preparation state-wide.

The session began this week, with focus on how best to carry out the Medi-Cal expansion to those making up to roughly $14,000 a year. Below is the text of the Governor's Proclamation proclamation outlining the major priorities, and a news spot on the session featuring UC Davis pediatrician Assemblyman Richard Pan:


WHEREAS, an extraordinary circumstance has arisen and now exists requiring that the Legislature of the State of California be convened in extraordinary session;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with Section 3(b) of Article IV of the Constitution of the State of California, hereby convene the Legislature of the State of California to meet in extraordinary session in Sacramento, California, on the 28th day of January, 2013, at a time to be determined, for the following purpose:

To consider and act upon legislation necessary to implement the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), in the following areas: ‪

a. California’s private health coverage market, and rules and regulations governing the individual and small group markets related to guaranteed issue of coverage, pre-existing condition exclusions, rating restrictions, and any other requirements necessary to conform state law to federal rules.

‪b. California’s Medi-Cal program and changes that are necessary to implement federal law, including requirements for eligibility, enrollment, and retention.

‪c. Options that allow low-cost health coverage to be provided to individuals who have income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level within the California Health Benefit Exchange, to the extent allowed by federal law or regulations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 24th day of January 2013.

Governor of California