Calif. takes steps to implement health care reform |

Calif. takes steps to implement health care reform

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The California Assembly has passed a key component of health care reform that would make changes prescribed by the federal government.

The bill introduced by Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez would create an exchange in which individuals could compare and buy health insurance plans.

The legislation also would prohibit lifetime limits on health care coverage and raise the age to 26 for children to stay on their parents’ insurance policies.

AB1602 passed Tuesday on a 42-21 vote and now moves to the Senate.

Perez said approving the bill would enable California to receive federal money to create the exchange. Republicans opposed the bill, citing concerns over cost.

“I’ve got real concerns about ‘Obama-care’ in general, in terms of how we are going to afford it as a nation,” said Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville.

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The Assembly also passed a bill that would prohibit health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

The measure by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, passed with a 41-24 vote.