The following bills represent opportunities in California to further implement the Affordable Care Act. The Health Care Reform Steering Committee has written letters in support of the first five bills and is closely watching them as they make their way to thru the legislative process and on to the Governor's desk.
Thanks to support from UUs across California, UULM and UULM's partners, four of the bills we've championed--AB 52, AB 714, AB 792 and AB 922--are moving closer to becoming law. All four bills made it through the California Assembly and by the Senate Health Committee, but must be passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by then end of August 2011. If these bills are passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, they will go to the Senate Floor for a full vote. Once these bills are approved by the full Senate, they go to Governor Brown and become law with his signature.
(Click on the bill number to access the full text of the legislation)
AB 52 (FEUER) RATE REGULATION: Provides authority to the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to approve or deny increases in health care insurance premiums, co-payments, or deductibles. (This bill is a continuation of a bill UUs worked hard on last year but it was withdrawn under threat of the previous Governor's veto).
AB 714 (ATKINS) PRE-ENROLLMENT: Requires various state-run health as well as some hospitals to provide information about The California Health Benefits Exchange for the purpose of pre-enrolling them to be ready to obtain subsidized coverage in January 2014.
A copy of UULM letter of support can be found HERE.
AB 792 (BONILLA) AUTOMATIC ENROLLMENT: Ensures that Californians can easily sign up for coverage during key life changes. Requires California consumers are provided information about the Exchange upon filing for divorce, separation, unemployment, adoption, or other life circumstances. After 2014, certain insurers and plans must also provide information about those dropping off coverage to the Exchange.
AB 922 (MONNING) PROVIDING CONSUMER ASSISTANCE: Creates an Office of Health Consumer Assistance (replacing the Office of Patient Advocate), responsible for providing outreach and education about health coverage to consumers. Authorizes contracting with community organizations to provide consumer assistance.
County Joint-Venture Bill Moving Slowly Through the Assembly (Click on the bill number to access the full text of the legislation)
For the last two years UULM has supported SB 222 because it allows counties to combine their resources to offer a "public option" plan to low-income individuals in their area. In this era of scare state funding, empowering counties to pool their resources makes sense while simultaneously providing an opportunity to demonstrate that a public option plan can offer good, cost-effective health care insurance.
SB 922 has made it through the Senate and the Assembly Health Committee, but is now stuck in "suspension" within the Assembly Appropriations Committee as of July 13. That means that unless the Committee chooses to take the bill up after returning from recess on August 25, the bill will not be voted on in the committee or make it to the Assembly for a final vote.
SB 222 (ALQUIST) COUNTY-RUN HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS: Allows for counties, county special commissions, or county health authorities that govern, own, or operate a local initiative health plan or county-organized health system to form joint ventures for the joint or coordinated offering of health plans to individuals and groups.
SB 810 Becomes a “Two-Year Bill” and Heard Again in January 2011
Senator Leno designated SB 810 a "Two-Year Bill" in May 2011. Two-Year bills are introduced in the first year of a two-year California legislative session, but do not pass both houses of the California legislature by the time the first year of the session is closed (August 2011). Instead, a Two-Year bill like SB 810 remains in the session and can be acted upon in the second year of the session. SB 810 is expected to be taken up again by Senate committees in January 2012.
SB 810 (LENO) SINGLE PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: Establishes a universal State Healthcare System. Makes all residents eligible for specified health care benefits under the System, which would, on a single-payer basis, negotiate for or set fees for health care services provided through the system and pay claims for those services.
Mental Health Parity Law Dies in Assembly Appropriations Committee this May.
San Jose Assemblymember Beall sponsored AB 154, a mental health parity law requiring private health plans to include diagnosis and treatment of any mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and published in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Unfortunately, this bill did not make it out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and thus stalled in May 2011. UULM has consistently supported mental health parity bills offered by Assemblymember Beall, including AB 1600 introduced by him in 2010.
Here are additional flyers on federal health care reform to use in your congregation.
. CVEP Spanish Flyer (doc)
. Small Business EC (pdf)
. API Chinese CPEHN (pdf)
. Latino CPEHN (pdf)
. API Tagalog CPEHN (pdf)
. Young Americans YI (pdf)
. API Vietnamese CPEHN (pdf)
. Seniors AARP (pdf)
. API CPEHN (pdf)
. AfAm CPEHN (pdf)
. API Korean CPEHN (pdf)
. API Khmer CPEHN (pdf)
. Young Americans EC (pdf)
. Seniors EC (pdf)
. Women EC (pdf)
. Latino-spanish CPEHN (pdf)
. Native Am CPEHN (pdf)
. Medicare handout 2011 (Word)
. Additional Health Care Resources (Word)
Great News! The CA Senate Health Committee passed all the bills in front of them on June 24, 2010. See Health Access blog.
March 18, 2010 - Democrats get the bill, and the score, they needed
By Ezra Klein, Washington Post
March 17, 2010 - Speech by Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio
Statement declaring Yes vote for health reform bill
President Obama's March 3rd, 2010 Speech on Health Insurance Reform
"We began our push to reform health insurance last March, in this room, with doctors and nurses who know the system best. And so it’s fitting to be joined by all of you as we bring this journey to a close."
Read the full transcript
Read the President's healthcare proposal.
Benefits of Health Care Reform, District by District Impact
Summary of National Health Care Reform Law
H.R. 4872 - The Heath Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Reconciliation package to improve Senate Healthcare Reform bill)
Section-By-Section Analysis of the Reconciliation Act H.R.4872 (easier to read summary)
Congressional Budget Office Analysis of Fiscal Impact of the Reconciliation Act
Visit the UULM Action Network for rallies, lobbying opportunities, and more ways to take action on healthcare reform.
Tabling Kit for Congregations
Would you like to help organize the healthcare team in your congregation? Your congregation can be involved in the UU Voices for Healthcare Project. UU Voices for Health Care Sign-up Sheet.
Healthcare Stories Needed: Submitting stories about the everyday impacts of our healthcare system is the single-most effective way to build the healthcare movement. Host a story-gathering session in your congregation using our easy outline or distribute our story forms during coffee hour and mail us copies of your congregation’s responses. And keep an eye on this website – we’ll soon be collecting stories through the web!
NEW UU Voices for Healthcare Curriculum: An adaptable seven-session healthcare curriculum is available to educate and empower UU's to take action within and beyond their congregations. Topics include healthcare history in the United States, healthcare around the world, healthy equity, understanding single-payer, and more. Access it here!
Grounded in UU values, this targeted health care curriculum from the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California deepens participants understanding of their own, and their communities' struggles and opportunities for change. This new version of UU Voices for Health Care Study Guide:
Provides a small group ministry moving from reflection to action
Offers educational materials empowering congregations to access health reform material, explore health care from a faith perspective, and engage in public advocacy and interfaith dialogue
Supports congregational leadership in building long-term energy for change
Strengthens our California UU faith community social justice network
Addresses issues of health care equity, health care around the world and expanding health care access in California.
Covers recently passed federal law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The curriculum has seven sessions, but each session can stand alone. Order a copy for your congregation today by contacting Sharon Stone at 916.441.0018 or by email today!
What follows in the quality of our helping when we begin to know ourselves beyond separateness? .We are not so much helping out, then, because it is "me" needing to tend to "you". We're helping out because it is "us". The more we understand and dwell in that truth, the more we serve simply in the way of things. If any of "Us" needs help. If one of "Our" arms gets caught in a door, naturally we use the other of "Our" arms to set it free. Helping happens not because it's been weighed and considered; it happens because the barriers to its lawful and automatic expression have fallen away.
- from How Can I Help?
by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman
Helpful questionnaire, courtesy of the Washington Post. See how this Healthcare Reform legislation will affect real citizens.
What this Health Bill means for you.
In 1961 Ronald Reagn went on radio to speak against "Healthcare Reform" (Medicare). Listen to that broadcast.
Ronald Reagan on Healthcare Reform
How California Stands to Gain
A report by Families USA
The President's Healthcare Proposal: Impact on Access and Affordability in CA
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley and National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago February 2010
UULM-Action Network Talking Points for a Strong Federal Public Coverage Option
"A History for Health Care Reform in the United States"
Timeline from the New York Times
Healthcare Glossary of Terms
Practical definition for all the buzz words and lingo that you'll run into working with healthcare reform.
Glossary (by UULM-CA)
Ten Myths and Facts About the U.S. Healthcare System
Myths & Facts from the Center for Policy Analysis
Resources for Worship
Packed with hymns, quotes, and readings - you can use this resource package as you put together services and events.
Themes of Health and Healing
Comparing Senate and House Bills - Center for Policy Analysis, December 29, 2009
Health Reform: Obama Budget - Center for Policy Analysis, February 27, 2009
PICO National's Comparison of Health Care Status Quo with Senate and House Bills
Blog by Ellen Shaffer, Co-Director of the Center for Policy Analysis
Reflections by Rev. Debra Haffner, UU minister serving as Executive Director of the Religious Institute
Reflection from Thomas Atwood, UULM Healthcare Steering Committee
Important websites for ongoing healthcare policy information and action alerts:
Center for Policy Analysis
Health Access Blog
Health Care for All
Healthcare for America Now
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
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