Brown to call special legislative session on healthcare law

From Los Angeles Times:

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has told legislative leaders he intends to call a special session to deal with issues related to the federal healthcare law signed by President Obama in 2010.

California has been one of the key laboratories for preparations to implement the law. State leaders hope by January 2014 to be able to expand coverage to millions of Californians who currently do not have health insurance.

Brown said a special session, which he plans for December, will allow the state to continue its progress by giving him and lawmakers a way to keep working this year on healthcare proposals that have failed in the current session, which ends Aug. 31. Bills passed in a special session can take effect within 90 days of passage rather than at the beginning of the following calendar year.

One proposal killed in the Assembly this week would have created a health plan for people who could not afford insurance on the open market but make too much money to qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program for the poor.

The option, known as the Basic Health Plan, would provide coverage for individuals with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level, or between $15,000 and $21,800 a year.

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Photo courtesy Steve Rhodes, flickr