SACRAMENTO -- A key Assembly panel will consider legislation Tuesday that would dramatically expand Medi-Cal, the state's public insurance program for the poor.
The proposal, authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles), is part of a legislative package that aims to help California implement President Obama's healthcare overhaul.
Beginning in January 2014, the federal Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Gov. Jerry Brown has called a special session so healthcare bills that he signs can take effect within 90 days rather than next year.
On Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee is set to consider legislation that would expand Medi-Cal coverage to individuals earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level -- or $15,415 a year, potentially adding more than 1 million Californians to the rolls.