BILL NUMBER: SB 208 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senators Steinberg and Alquist (Coauthor: Assembly Member Bass) FEBRUARY 23, 2009 An act to add Article 5.4 (commencing with Section 14180) to Chapter 7 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to Medi-Cal, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SB 208, as introduced, Steinberg. Medi-Cal: demonstration project waiver. Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services and under which qualified low-income persons receive health care benefits. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid provisions. This bill would require the department to submit an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a waiver to implement a demonstration project that improves health care, as specified. The bill would require the department to submit the waiver application by a date that shall ensure that the waiver is approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by September 1, 2010. The bill would condition implementation of the waiver upon the enactment of subsequent statutory authorization. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute. Vote: 2/3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Article 5.4 (commencing with Section 14180) is added to Chapter 7 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read: Article 5.4. Health Care Improvement Waiver 14180. (a) The department shall submit an application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a waiver to implement a demonstration project that does all of the following: (1) Strengthens California's health care safety net, which includes disproportionate share hospitals, for low-income and vulnerable Californians. (2) Maximizes opportunities to expand coverage to eligible, but uninsured populations. (3) Optimizes opportunities to increase federal financial participation and maximizes financial resources to address uncompensated care. (4) Promotes long-term, efficient, and effective use of state and local funds. (5) Improves health care outcomes. (b) In developing the waiver application, the department shall consult with interested stakeholders and the Legislature. (c) The department shall determine the form of waiver most appropriate to achieve the purposes listed in subdivision (a). (d) The department shall submit the waiver application to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by a date that shall ensure that the waiver is approved by September 1, 2010. (e) If the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approves the waiver, the department shall only implement the demonstration project upon enactment of subsequent statutory authorization. SEC. 2. This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are: In order to ensure that health care for Californians is improved at the earliest possible time, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.