Call to Action: Senate Health Will Hear HOAC Sponsored TB Control Legislation
Members of the Senate Health Committee will hear HOAC’s sponsored AB 511 (Arambula) on Wednesday. Our bill would build on previous legislative accomplishments to replace mandated TB testing of certain low-risk populations with risk assessment screening and targeted testing, as recommended by the CDC, CDPH, and other expert public health bodies. AB 511 passed the Assembly despite facing strong opposition, which has since grown. HOAC calls on your leadership to challenge this opposition by educating Senators about the best TB control practices, which do not include universally testing low-risk populations.
If you can take a moment to share your knowledge with a lawmaker or their staff, members of the Senate Health Committee would benefit from your input. Contact information for members of this committee is listed below and I would be happy to provide talking points, a fact sheet, or any other materials that would be helpful in guiding your discussions.
State LegislatorPartyPhone NumberCounties Served
Connie LeyvaD916-651-4020Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Ed Hernandez (Chair)D916-651-4022Los Angeles
Holly MitchellD916-651-4030Los Angeles
Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair)R916-651-4034Orange
Jim NielsenR916-651-4004Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba
Josh NewmanD916-651-4029Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino
Toni AtkinsD916-651-4039San Diego
|Connie Leyva||D||916-651-4020||Los Angeles, San Bernardino|
|Ed Hernandez (Chair)||D||916-651-4022||Los Angeles|
|Holly Mitchell||D||916-651-4030||Los Angeles|
|Janet Nguyen (Vice-Chair)||R||916-651-4034||Orange|
|Jim Nielsen||R||916-651-4004||Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama, Yuba|
|Josh Newman||D||916-651-4029||Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino|
|Toni Atkins||D||916-651-4039||San Diego|
|William Monning||D||916-651-4017||Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz|
California Lawmakers Approve Budget
The budget was passed on Thursday, marking the seventh straight year California’s lawmakers have approved a budget before the deadline. At more than $183 billion, the state’s largest to date, this year’s budget is filled with what Governor Brown has called “progressive priorities,” which include funds for after-school programs, students attending CSUs and UCs, and low-income people through the Earned Income Tax Credit, among other priorities you can read a bit more about here. Though the budget was passed on time, it was not done so without the usual heated negotiations between legislators and the governor’s administration. Much of this year’s contention focused on the allocation of Prop. 56 (tobacco tax) revenues, which generated $1.3 billion. Under the budget, many of these dollars will go toward increasing reimbursement rates for healthcare providers treating Medi-Cal patients.
US Senate to Vote on AHCA
After a failed attempt to whip the votes earlier this year, the House narrowly passed the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) last month. The version of AHCA passed by the House has proven controversial for many reasons, not the least of which is a provision that would allow insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. Interestingly, the New York Times reports a poll showing the AHCA does not enjoy a plurality of support from voters in a single state. In fact, when polled, the AHCA is the least popular piece of legislation considered by Congress in decades – even less popular than the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which is pejoratively called “the bailout.”
Importantly, the version of AHCA passed by the House was done so with an expectation that it would be revamped in the Senate. However, to avoid intense public scrutiny over the bill’s contents, Republican Senators officially tasked with rewriting AHCA – none of whom are women – have shared little about the bill’s contents, leading Democratic Senators to call on their Republican colleagues to hold public hearings. Though the public is largely unaware of its contents, architects of AHCA are hoping they will have enough support to pass the bill by July 4, before lawmakers adjourn for the summer.
As part of the 2017 federal budget process, the AHCA can pass the Senate with a simple majority of votes, which would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act that are within the scope of the budget. This would include eliminating individual and employer mandates, as well as various taxes.