Legislature Passes Well-Crafted Health Plan Funding Proposal

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported special session health plan funding proposal passed the legislature yesterday and is headed to the Governor.

SBX2 2 (E. Hernandez; D-West Covina) preserves critical funding for the state’s Medi-Cal program without undermining the affordability of commercial health care purchased by employers, families, and individuals.

CalChamber Letter

In its support letter, CalChamber explains that policymakers were left with a difficult task when the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated in 2014 that California’s existing managed care organization (MCO) tax, which generates approximately $1 billion a year for the state’s Medi-Cal program, did not comply with the federal rules governing provider taxes and could not be renewed in 2016.

Any replacement proposal, the CalChamber notes, would have to raise enough revenue to offset the expiring tax and prevent a reduction in Medi-Cal provider reimbursements, but also would need to apply broadly to most, if not all, health care plans without creating unreasonable disparities between them that might generate pressure in the commercial health insurance marketplace to increase costs for California purchasers.

CalChamber believes SBX2 2 sufficiently meets these important goals.

In its February 23 support letter, CalChamber noted that SBX2 2 presents a comprehensive solution that is a win-win for California.

Key Vote

SBX2 2 passed the Senate 28-11 on February 29.

Ayes: Allen (D-Santa Monica), Beall (D-San Jose), Block (D-San Diego), Cannella (R-Ceres), de León (D-Los Angeles), Galgiani (D-Stockton), Glazer (D-Contra Costa), Hall (D-Los Angeles), Hancock (D-Berkeley), Hernandez (D-West Covina), Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Hill (D-San Mateo), Hueso (D-San Diego), Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Leno (D-San Francisco), Leyva (D-Chino), Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Mendoza (D-Artesia), Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Monning (D-Carmel),Pan (D-Sacramento), Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Roth (D-Riverside), Wieckowski (D-Fremont), Wolk (D-Davis).

Noes: Anderson (R-Alpine), Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills), Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Nielsen (R-Gerber), Runner (R-Lancaster), Stone (R-Temecula), Vidak (R-Hanford).

No Vote Recorded: Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).

SBX2 2 passed the Assembly 61-16 on February 29.

Ayes: Alejo (D-Salinas), Atkins (D-San Diego), Baker (R-San Ramon), Bigelow (R-O’Neals), Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Bonilla (D-Concord), Bonta (D-Oakland), Brown (D-San Bernardino), Burke (D-Inglewood), Calderon (D-Whittier), Campos (D-San Jose), Chau (D-Monterey Park), , Chu (D-San Jose), Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Dababneh (D-Encino), Dahle (R-Bieber), Daly (D-Anaheim), Dodd (D-Napa), Eggman (D-Stockton), Frazier (D-Oakley), Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Garcia (D-Coachella), Gatto (D-Glendale), Gipson (D-Carson), Gomez (D-Los Angeles), Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Gordon (D-Menlo Park), Gray (D-Merced), Hernández (D-West Covina), Holden (D-Pasadena), Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), Jones (R-Santee), Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), Levine (D-San Rafael), Linder (R-Corona), Lopez (D-San Fernando), Low (D-Campbell), Maienschein (R-San Diego), Mathis (R-Visalia), Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), McCarty (D-Sacramento), Medina (D-Riverside), Mullin (D-South San Francisco), Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), Olsen (R-Modesto), Perea (D-Fresno), Quirk (D-Hayward), Rendon (D-Lakewood), Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), Rodriguez (D-Pomona), Salas (D-Bakersfield), Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Stone (D-Scotts Valley), Thurmond (D-Richmond), Ting (D-San Francisco), Wagner (R-Irvine), Waldron (R-Escondido), Weber (D-San Diego), Williams (D-Carpinteria), Wood (D-Healdsburg).

Noes:  Achadjian  (R-San Luis Obispo), Allen (R-Huntington Beach), Brough (R-Dana Point), Chang (R-Diamond Bar), Chávez (R-Oceanside), Beth Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills), Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Grove (R-Bakersfield), Hadley (R-Torrance), Harper (R-Huntington Beach), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake), Patterson (R-Fresno), Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).

Absent, Abstaining or Not Voting: Chiu (D-San Francisco), Kim (R-Fullerton).

Next Step

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk to await his signature. According to a Tweet from Nancy McFadden, Governor Brown’s chief of staff,  the Governor is waiting “with pen in hand” to sign the legislation.

Staff Contact: Mira Morton