Running concurrently with the general session of the California Legislature is the First Special Session Gov. Jerry Brown called to address the state's implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The Assembly and the state Senate have each approved their own version of a bill designed to cover an additional million Californians with the protections of Medi-Cal. The enactment of the bills could ensure health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of California students and their families.
ABX1 1, by Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), and SB X1 1, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Los Angeles) and Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-Baldwin Park), are both important steps toward implementing the federal health care act. ABX1 1 now heads to the Senate Health Committee, and SBX1 1 moves to the Assembly Health Committee.
The bills also streamline the process for establishing program eligibility and enrolling participants in the program. Because the bills are in a special session, once approved, they would take effect within 90 days of their signing. Regular session bills take effect January of the following year.
Ninety percent of the funding to expand the program comes from the federal government for the first three years.
The bills are scheduled to come before CTA's State Council of Education in April. CTA supports ensuring that each and every student has access to health care to effectively pursue educational excellence.