by Sana Baig
The deadline to introduce legislation for the 2019-20 legislative session was February 22, 2019. The Legislature introduced nearly 1,000 health-related bills, including approximately 160 bills focused on behavioral health issues. The attached fact sheet provides a brief description of many of the newly introduced health care bills.
Recent federal efforts to undermine and weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA) range from the elimination of the federal individual mandate tax penalty to shortening the open enrollment period for the federal ACA marketplace. In response, the California Legislature introduced multiple bills to protect the progress made under the ACA. For example, Assembly Bill 414 (Bonta) and Senate Bill 175 (Pan) impose a state individual coverage requirement and a state penalty for Californians who do not maintain minimum essential health coverage. Other bills address improving affordability for individual market coverage as well as expanding eligibility and covered services in Medi-Cal.
Legislators introduced over a hundred bills related to behavioral health, including bills aimed at addressing the growing opioid epidemic, and targeted services for youth such as the creation of an Integrated Youth Mental Health Program or enhancements of school-based mental health services.
Legislative Committees will begin hearing bills in the coming weeks. ITUP will be monitoring the progress of these and other health care bills in the coming months. Read the ITUP preliminary review of introduced bills here.