Assembly Bill 1x 1 now heads to the Senate, after passing the Assembly 53-22. Shortly after the Assembly vote, the Senate sent the Assembly a similar Medi-Cal expansion bill 24-7. Senate Bill 1x 1 is authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.
"Expanding health coverage to low-income adults will ensure Californians have access to care, which will help ensure a more healthy workforce and implementing the expansion will bring billions of federal dollars to the California economy," Hernandez said.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, authored AB 1x 1 and said it is an important step to ensuring people living significantly below the poverty line have access to quality care. In addition to expanding eligibility, Pérez's bill aims to streamline enrollment to reduce the time it takes to receive coverage.
Under the health care law pushed by President Barack Obama, most Americans will be required to buy health insurance by January 2014 or pay a penalty. The tab for the California Medi-Cal expansion will be picked up by the federal government for the first three years. In subsequent years, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost.