Legislative Update: Capitol Action Team Report

CSLA Capitol Action Team (CAT) report on bills supported in 2016.

AB1584 (Brown) Governor Brown vetoed AB 1584 that would have permanently restored the state Cost of Living Adjustment for SSI/SSP benefits in California. Despite the Governor’s COLA in the 2016-17 budget – the first reinvestment in a decade – SSI/SSP recipients still suffer from significant cuts while the cost of basic necessities such as housing and food continue to rise. Governor Brown’s veto message indicates his desire that these discussions take place in the context of the budget.  

SB1150 (Leno) - was signed into law by Governor Brown Protection of surviving spouses and heirs. Surviving spouses and heirs who are not named in the decease’s mortgage or deed can seek loan modification. Clarifies the responsibilities of a lender when a borrower dies and leaves surviving homeowner spouses, children or other heirs who wish to assume the loan, giving them a fair chance to take responsibility for the mortgage loan attached to their home.  

SB1076 (Hernandez) - Governor Brown signed SB1076 into law. Regulation of Hospital use of Observation Areas Patients in Observation Areas must be told they are not admitted. Patients must be admitted or sent home after 24 hours. Observation Areas must be marked. Hospitals must have Emergency Room level of staffing in Observation Areas. This new law addresses this problem with keeping patients in observation status.  *Medicare patients treated in Observation Areas take a financial hit because they are not admitted, so they are not covered by Medicare Part A, for admitted inpatients, which covers all expenses after a $1,216 deductible. They were not covered by Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, because their condition may be considered too serious. Even if it is covered, Medicare Part B only covered 80%. A patient’s supplemental coverage may or may not cover observation. Patients can stay in Observation Areas for long periods and build up considerable charges.