In This Issue
In Sacramento, the Governor's deadline to sign or veto bills was September 30th. As CAARR predicted he would, Governor Brown signed AB 1453 and SB 952, the package of bills regarding Essential Health Benefits, into law. The California Health Benefits Exchange (HBE) can now go to work in earnest to make sure every California resident, US citizen has insurance coverage beginning in 2014. Making good on the promise of full parity for substance abuse and mental health treatment will be one of CAARR's top priorities in 2013 as the HBE kicks into full gear. You can keep track of the work the HBE is doing by clicking this link: Healthexchange.ca.gov The Governor also signed AB472 by assembly member Tom Ammiano into law. This important bill (supported by CAARR) institutes a "hold harmless" provision in California law regarding possession and being under the influence for anyone who seeks medical help for overdose victims. Previously, there was always a threat of arrest for people helping themselves or others who could be overdosing. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2013.
ADP staff, their counterparts from the Health and Human Services Agency and the Departments of Public Health, Social Services, and Health Care Services (i.e. the Department of Medi-Cal) held the 2nd of 3 planned stakeholder meetings on September 28th. Millicent Tidwell provided the Administration's account of the overarching rationale for eliminating DADP. Again, stakeholders were broken out into work-groups to answer a series of questions asking specifically for recommendations on where different functional units of the department should go.
If you attended the CAARR Conference in Palm Springs, you already know how to send a letter to Diana Dooley, the Secratery of the Health and Human Services Agency on this extremely important issue concerning the realignment of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. If you were unable to attend the Conference, go to the CAARR website and click on Take Action, or just click here for her address and a few salient points that you can include, along with your own thoughts, in a letter. Remember, if they hear SILENCE, they assume they can do what they want. Let your government HEAR YOU. And on November 6th, CAST YOUR VOTE for the candidates and ballot initiatives because it really does matter! And bring a friend to the polling place with you; its almost like you're voting twice.
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