What Jared is Doing NOW to make healthcare more accessible and affordable
Jared’s leadership on healthcare issues was honored with an award from the Marin Medical Society (2008) and from Petaluma Valley Hospital (2010). His successful legislation on healthcare issues includes:
- Restoring Medi-Cal Reimbursement to North Bay Hospitals -- AB 75 (2009): Protects small district hospitals that provide services in underserved communities, such as Sonoma Valley Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital, from a devastating 10% Medi-Cal rate cut by correcting a drafting error in the 2008-09 Budget Trailer Bill on Health. Status: Signed by Governor.
- Supporting Transfer of Marin General Hospital to Public Control and Operation - AB 523 (2008): Provides extension of seismic safety retrofit deadlines for Marin General Hospital to allow the hospital to meet those requirements without jeopardizing the successful transition to public management and control of the hospital. Status: Signed by Governor.
- Emergency Medical Services Funding - AB 3076 (2008): Ensures that vitally needed funds are directed to uncompensated emergency physician services by correcting error in 2006 legislation relating to distribution of funds from traffic schools (the Maddy Emergency Medical Services Fund). Status: Signed by the Governor.
- California Breast Cancer Research Fund - AB 28 (2007): Extends a voluntary program allowing individuals to apply a portion of their tax refund to support the California Breast Cancer Research Fund until January 1, 2013, preserving millions in annual funding for breast cancer research. Status: Signed by Governor.
- Routine HIV Screening – Removes Informed Consent Requirement (Huffman/Berg/Garcia, 2007): Repeals written informed consent for HIV testing, so that medical providers can identify Californians who are unaware of their HIV-positive status and bring them into care and treatment, while sustaining the fundamental voluntary nature of HIV screening. The bill removes a major barrier to HIV testing by requiring a patient to give simple consent, rather than informed consent, before an HIV test can be administered. Status: Signed by Governor.
Jared believes making quality healthcare more affordable and accessible for individuals, families, and employers is one of the most important policy challenges facing our state and nation. Jared will defend and work to expand the Affordable Care Act, which will improve our healthcare system and bring relief to middle class Americans by providing protections against skyrocketing insurance premiums, reducing unfair business practices, protecting millions of people against the loss of their homes because of a catastrophic illness, helping small businesses provide coverage to their employees, and improving our overall quality of life, fiscal stability, and global economic competitiveness. While fighting Republican efforts to repeal the legislation, Jared will also work to improve and expand it, including creating a public option.
As a state legislator, Jared has consistently fought to hold big health insurance companies accountable and to enhance the quality and affordability of health care for California families. Jared supports universal single-payer healthcare reform and has co-authored such legislation each year (SB 840/SB 810). Jared also has championed much-needed incremental reforms to improve the quality, cost, accessibility and accountability of our healthcare system. This year, he is jointly authoring one of the most important health reforms in years -- AB 52, which would help prevent skyrocketing health premiums by requiring insurance companies to justify their rate increases.
A strong advocate for quality healthcare in his district, Jared has authored legislation to benefit all three public hospitals he represents – Marin General, Petaluma Valley, and Sonoma Valley. He has been active in working to protect Marin General as it transitions to public control and operation in 2010, including holding Sutter Corporation accountable for its “cash sweeps” of $180 million from that hospital.
Jared has also authored numerous bills that were not enacted into law but which reflect his commitment to healthcare reform, including legislation to prevent the practice of "step therapy" under which health insurers prevent chronic pain patients from receiving the medication recommended by their doctors (AB 1826 (2010)), legislation to reward employers who provide health benefits to their employees by creating a 2% bid preference in state public works contracts (AB 1853 (2010)), legislation to reinstate annual dental screenings under Medi-Cal for seniors living in long-term care facilities (AB 2229 (2008)), legislation to require assessment of the potential impact on community hospitals and emergency rooms from boutique hospitals which typically provide a single service line such as orthopedics or cardiac care (AB 2697 (2008)), legislation to reduce workplace injuries to nurses by creating incentives for nurse lift teams (AB 371 (2008)), and legislation to increase penalties for unlawful nonpayment of doctors by HMO’s (AB 1155 (2008)).