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T-Minus 2 Days!

The Governor has until September 30th (just two days away!) to decide whether or not to sign into law more than a dozen health care bills sitting on his desk.

Arguably, the most significant of these are SB 900 (Alquist & Steinberg) and AB 1602 (Perez), sister bills that would initiate establishment of the California Health Benefit Exchange, and begin the work to ensure the Exchange is up-and-running by its intended start date: January 1, 2014.

Our friend Micah Weinberg at the New America Foundation is reported in today’s California Healthline as saying the Governor is being pressured heavily on both sides (to sign and veto), and with 48 hours til the deadline, it is still unclear what he’s going to decide.

New LAO Analysis Just Released!

Just yesterday, the non-partisan Legislative Analysts Office released a new analysis of the bills. The LAO concludes that passing bills to establish the Exchange this year would not add to the state’s deficit because it would be paid by federal monies and fees on plans that will participate in the plan. For more, read today’s BusinessWeek. The LAO analysis confirmed the intention in the federal law (that the exchanges do not cause states to occur additional costs).

Stay tuned to the blog. You’ll get the latest word out of Sacramento (from me) tomorrow.

In the meantime, for more on AB 1602 and SB 900, be sure to read our summary of the bills to understand what policies and subjects were addressed in each bill.