Sacramento – Senate Republicans want to protect 24 million Californians without raising taxes on their healthcare insurance. In July, two healthcare bills were introduced in response to the special session. These two measures were introduced to help low-income and disabled Californians gain better access to doctors, nurses and developmental services. Together, Senate Bill 2X 4 (Nielsen) and Senate Bill 2X 11 (Stone) would require new revenues to increase reimbursement rates for developmental disability services, and to restore the remaining 10 percent reductions to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.
“The Levine bill is a $1 billion plus tax increase on the health insurance of hard working families and small businesses,” said Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas). “Health insurance is already expensive. We do not need to make health insurance even more expensive in our effort to properly fund programs for Developmentally Disabled or to provide adequate reimbursement rates for California doctors.”
“Republicans share the goal of protecting our state’s most vulnerable and we want to work with our Democrat colleagues to accomplish that. However, we still have to ask why in the recent budget that the majority party chose to give money to convicted drug felons, but could not find the money to pay for developmental services. Citizens want an efficient government. Before asking people to pay more in taxes, they should first have an accounting of how their money is being spent,” said Sen. Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Vice-Chair of the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee for the extraordinary session on health care.
Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said, “In the upcoming fiscal year, the state will likely receive an unexpected $10 billion. With the extra money, developmental services can be delivered to those in need and Medi-Cal rates can be increased without raising taxes for 24 million Californians. It would be a shame if the Governor and the Democrat-controlled Legislature ignores the most vulnerable in our communities again.”
“My fellow Senate Republican colleagues and I want to fight the injustice,” said Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County). “Democrats say budgets are about moral obligations. So how did the disabled fall to the bottom of the list of priorities during the budget process? They were left out of a budget that had more revenue come in than was expected and registered record spending. Who was more important than the poorest and most vulnerable Californians?”
Senate Republicans have introduced two bills in response to the special session on healthcare. Neither would raise taxes on California families.
Specifically, SB 2X 4 (Nielsen) would require any new General Fund revenues available over 2015 budget levels to be dedicated to increase reimbursement rates for developmental disability services by up to 10 percent to ensure access; and SB 2X 11 (Stone) would redirect monies from the closure of state developmental centers to pay for community services for the developmentally disabled.