What Is the Healthy California Act (SB 562, Lara/Atkins)?

When enacted, the Healthy California Act will create a system that will make it possible for everyone living in California to receive comprehensive health care services. Individuals will have free choice of licensed health professionals and services in any type of professional setting, from a solo practice to a clinic, a group practice, or hospital system.

People will no longer have to worry about deductibles or copays. Covered benefits will include services to keep people healthy—mentally and physically—as well as those services that diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to emergency services, surgeries, and hospital stays, services such as case management, home health care, day care, and hospice are covered. Vision and dental care are also included.

The bill outlines a process for the transition to the proposed system. It will establish the Healthy California Board, an independent public governing body that will be responsible for the structure, financing and oversight of the system. It will be composed of California residents with demonstrated and acknowledged expertise in health care. Cultural, ethnic, and geographical diversity will be considered in appointments so that the Board’s composition will reflect the communities of CA. The Secretary of California Health and Human Services or his or her designee shall be an ex officio voting member.

A health care Trust Fund will be established under the California Department of the Treasury to receive all money designated for health care. Money currently spent to fund public programs, employer contributions for health care benefits as well as new taxes, will go directly into this fund. These new taxes will replace individual health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Human resource departments, for businesses and governmental bodies, will no longer need to spend time and money providing for, and managing employee health care benefits. Any remaining money in the Trust Fund at the end of any year remains in the Trust Fund for the following year.

The Healthy California Act includes many checks and balances to provide high quality care for all California residents in a manner that is financially sustainable. Diverse stakeholder - including physicians, other health care professionals, representatives of labor and business and ordinary citizens - will make up the large, transparent, Advisory Board that will advise and help design the Healthy California program .SB 562 has been designed to include many checks and balances to provide high quality care for all California residents.

The full text of The Healthy California Act, SB562, can be read at:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB562