The Sacramento Bee reports that on Tuesday, Assembly Speaker John Pérez unveiled a bill that would bring California up to speed on implementing the new health care insurance options passed by the health care reform bill. http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/21/2693470/perez-unveils-bill-to-address.html Federal law requires that states expand health insurance options by 2014.
The bill, dubbed Assembly Bill 1602, if passed would set up the California Health Benefit Exchange. This would serve as a marketplace for small businesses to buy insurance under terms that would federal tax breaks and subsidies. The executive board of this exchange would be appointed by the governor and the Legislature. The deadline to set up a basic exchange is January 1.
The fact that progress is being made in California to implement the changes brought on by Health Care Reform is a positive one. The Health Care Reform bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama has proved to be one of the most hotly debated and poorly represented political acts of the last decade. Already, there are efforts in several states to legally challenge the reform bill. A successful passage of Assembly Bill 1602 in California would go a long way to finally settle the matter. Or so we hope.