The Sacramento Bee, posted by David Siders –
August 17, 2012: Gov. Jerry Brown plans to call a special legislative session at the end of the year on the national health care overhaul, as the state prepares to implement the landmark act by 2014.
The session, to begin in December or January, will run concurrently with the regular legislative session, California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley said this afternoon.
She said the state — one of the first to embrace President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — is waiting for guidelines from the federal government, delaying the state’s ability to act on legislation now.
“We won’t get it right if we do it now,” Dooley said.
Dooley said she suggested a special session to afford the administration time to implement the act once those guidelines from the federal government are received. Any laws passed by the Legislature during the session would take effect in 90 days, instead of the following January.
The Affordable Care Act calls for a dramatic expansion of the state’s Medi-Cal program, California’s version of Medicaid. The state is also working to set up a public health insurance exchange.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Dooley said. “It’s a very ambitious agenda, a lot to do in a short amount of time, but we have really been breaking our necks to stay on course, and I think we are.”
Brown told legislative leaders in a letter Thursday that he planned to call the special session.
“We will work with you to complete what we can in the current session,” the Democratic governor wrote, “but many important issues and questions cannot be addressed or answered without further guidance from the federal government and additional analysis to understand the interrelationship of the decisions we must make.”
Source: John & Rusty Report via Choice Admin