The demise of the Basic Health Program in California came quietly.
When SB 703 by Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) came before the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and committee yesterday, chair Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) had seven words for it: “That bill goes to the holding committee.”
Those seven words effectively ended BHP for this legislative session, though it may come back again in 2013.
The Basic Health Program is a plan to offer low-cost health care insurance for as many as one million low-income Californians who would be covered by public health plans and receive care at public hospitals. It is one of the options in the federal health care reform package, and is similar in some ways to the exchange, though the estimated cost of insurance and provider reimbursement rates would be lower under BHP.
Hernandez, in a prepared statement, said “The Assembly Appropriations Committee’s action today is a tremendous disappointment and a real setback in our efforts to make sure low-income Californians have access to affordable health care.