Health Law Legislative Update 2020
H. Thomas Watson
H. Thomas Watson is a partner at Horvitz & Levy LLP. He is a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist and the former chair of the State Bar’s Health Law Committee. He has authored numerous articles on health law and damages issues, and is a frequent lecturer on these topics.
Governor Newsom signaled his interest in the health care sector when signing off on a number of bills that affect providers and consumers in California, and in some instances even negotiated for changes in bills passed by the Legislature before he would sign certain the bills. Those bills range from bills that address hotly contested issues that have raised the ire of anti-vaccine activists, to those intended to lower prescription costs, provide access to medicinal cannabis for severely disabled students on school sites, provide expanded access to HIV prevention and prophylaxis drugs, penalize Californians who do not purchase health insurance, provide Medi-Cal coverage for young immigrants, set limits on premium assistance programs for dialysis treatment and profits for dialysis providers, and make small but important changes to the State CURES program and providers who must use it. There are also a number of bills that affect, but are not limited to, the health care sector, such as a law that implements a test that differentiates between employees and independent contractors and a series of Data Privacy Protection laws that will affect all sectors of the economy, including healthcare. For ease of reference, we have grouped the bills into different topic headings.