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Important healthcare legislation moving

As many of you know, I have served on the Assembly Health Committee for most of my term in the State Legislature, and I am now the committee’s Vice Chair.

The committee’s jurisdiction includes healthcare, behavioral and mental health, medical insurance, Medi-Cal and other public healthcare programs, and long-term care licensing. The lives of millions of Californians are impacted by legislation that comes before this committee.

For example, several important health-related bills were passed by the Committee on April 23. These include AB 2563 (Essayli) which requires the California Department of Public Health to expand its statewide screening of newborns to include Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), one of the most severe forms of inherited muscular dystrophies. Early diagnosis enables tailored care which can greatly enhance the quality and life potential for DMD patients.

AB 2467 (Bauer-Kahan) requires healthcare service plans and insurers to expand coverage to include hormone therapy and other services for women going through menopause or pre-menopause.

And AB 2914 (Bonta) requires California to establish a new Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) benchmark plan by 2027. EHBs outline the minimum services required by health plans covering Californians.

We also passed AB 2115 (Haney) which authorizes nonprofit or free clinics to update treatment for acute narcotic withdrawal symptoms in compliance with federal regulations. The bill’s supporters include the County of San Diego.

AB 2786 (Bonta) will authorize mobile farmers’ markets to provide a variety of locally grown or produced healthy foods in conformance with the California Retail Food Code. Farmers’ markets can address food access issues by bringing fresh foods to underserved areas.

These bills all passed unanimously, and are a good example of how legislators from both sides of the aisle can come together on important issues that benefit all Californians.


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