UPDATED! Yesterday evening the State Assembly passed SB 1094 and this morning the State Senate concurrence vote succeeded - now the bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk! Now we must urge Governor Brown to sign this bill to ensure needed transparency and accountability in hospital mergers and for protecting reproductive healthcare access in communities. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and a large coalition of labor, reproductive justice and other progressive organizations worked tirelessly this week to beat back the opponents and successfully push the bill forward through the legislative process.
Earlier this summer, Allyson Sonenshine and Jean Hastings Ardell shared their personal stories about what this bill means to them and why they stand in support of the bill after seeing first-hand the challenges that communities in Orange county faced after a recent merger. This bill will allow the Attorney General to better protect continued operation of emergency rooms and other essential services, such as reproductive services, to avoid adverse effects on basic levels of healthcare in the local community.
Thank Assemblymembers and State Senators who voted AYE!
Assemblymembers Voting AYE (Yes):
State Senators Voting AYE (Yes):
Please thank the Assemblymembers and Senators who voted AYE on SB 1094! Tweet your thank-you on twitter with hashtag #SB1094.
What does SB 1094 do?
Existing law grants the Attorney General authority to review and approve or deny a hospital’s sale or merger, to ensure that underserved communities and the providers who serve them are not left with gaps in health care access. Often, the AG's decision requires the continuation of existing levels of charity care, continued operation of emergency rooms and other essential services, such as reproductive services, to avoid adverse effects on basic levels of healthcare in the local community.
The need for SB 1094 arose from a merger in Orange County, when a Catholic hospital acquired a non-religious hospital and without the transparency required by law, stopped certain reproductive health services previously provided at the non-religious hospital, including emergency contraception, vasectomies, and abortion. This was inconsistent with what the hospital had previously told their physicians, the community, and the AG during the merger process.
What SB 1094 provides is a very narrow and limited authority for the AG to enforce or amend the conditions of a merger, but only if there has been a material misrepresentation made (lying) or violations of conditions set by the AG in the first place. A common-sense policy which protects CA communities.