Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ObamaCare 'Doesn't Go Far Enough' Proposed CA Law Wants Employer Funded Health and Dental for Part Time, Seasonal and Illegal Workers

This is is from

Millions of Californians will remain uninsured after the signature reforms of the Affordable Care Act roll out in 2014. Legislators are proposing an employer-funded trust to insure many of those who will likely fall through the cracks of the Affordable Care Act.

Assemblyman Manuel Perez introduced Assembly Bill 175, which would establish a trust fund, paid for by employers, private donors and philanthropic organizations, to provide comprehensive health insurance coverage, including primary care, dental and mental health benefits, to workers who are not covered by the ACA or the proposed expansion of Medi-Cal.

The bill proposes that the California Department of Health Care Services administer the fund and nonprofit community health centers would apply to the trust for money to serve the number of uncovered workers coming to their clinic for the time those workers are employed by the employers contributing to the fund.

Even after the first five years of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), three to four million people in California will probably remain uninsured....

The report predicts that nearly 40 percent of the uninsured won’t have an affordable coverage option, which is defined by the ACA as 8 percent or less of family income. And about a third, approximately one million people, will be undocumented individuals. They are barred from buying insurance on Covered California, the state’s new health benefit exchange for individuals, families and small businesses, and from participating in the proposed expansion of Medi-Cal.

These rules may affect immigrants on the path to citizenship pending the outcome of national immigration reform. Based on the current House and Senate immigration bills, it could take them 10 to 20 years to become eligible for health care under the ACA.

In the Senate bill, agricultural workers would be eligible for ACA services after five years if they meet certain criteria to become permanent resident aliens, said Arnoldo Torres, policy consultant for the sponsors of AB 175....

“For employers who want to cover their workers, this is another option,” Perez said. “The ACA is historical for us, …but it doesn’t go far enough.” AB 175 is expected to serve employees of small businesses, agriculture, restaurants, sales and service industries, primarily people who don’t receive health insurance through their jobs and who can’t afford to buy it on their own.

The bill is sponsored by three safety net health-care providers: Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas in Salinas, Clinicas Del Camino Real Inc. of Ventura and the Borrego Community Health Foundation serving San Diego and Riverside counties.

“Our objective is to create a foundation and a premise that funding for the healthcare of workers should be coming from the employers,” Torres said.