Last week, we asked you to contact your Senator to keep the creation of the Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) in the policy process as AB 1130 (Wood), rather than in the budget.
We still need your voice to ensure the legislature gives the Senate a sufficient opportunity to fully address concerns raised and work through key operational concerns. If this proposal were to be enacted as currently drafted:
- A single unelected bureaucrat at the OHCA would have the power to set cost targets on the health care industry universally and on any individual health care entity it calculates to be a high-cost outlier. OHCA could enforce those cost targets through fines and other disciplinary actions.
- OHCA would be allowed to apply cost-targets and information reporting requirements to all physician and other health provider practices (dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, chiropractors, optometrists, etc.) with two or more providers, instead of focusing on those entities that are actually driving up costs.
- Physicians would be required to give notice of intent to OHCA in order to merge, acquire or affiliate with another health care entity, then wait for OHCA to respond to the notice of intent before the merger, affiliation or acquisition may take place.
Since the OHCA proposal has only had a single policy committee hearing in a single legislative house so far, it would be catastrophic to simply include this language in the state budget without any further review.
It is time to urge your Senator to recognize the value of investing additional time and expertise in the OHCA proposal by ensuring it receives a thorough vetting through the policy process, rather than being rushed into the budget.
Please call and email today!