Governor Signs Healthcare Bills Authored by Senator Atkins, improving Child Oral Health and Guarding Against Discrimination

October 13, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed two pieces of healthcare legislation authored by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), bringing the number of her bills signed to nine.

One bill signed today, SB 223, requires health plans in California to meet the nondiscrimination, consumer-protection and language-assistance standards that currently exist in the federal Affordable Care Act – regardless of what may happen to the ACA in the future. This will ensure equal access to affordable healthcare, regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

The second bill signed, SB 379, will improve the oral health of California’s children by enabling more dental screenings. Specifically, the bill clarifies that schools that offer free dental screenings may require parents to opt out if they do not want their children to receive an assessment, although any treatment would still require active consent. The bill also requires schools to report aggregate data on tooth decay to counties and encourages similar reporting to the state.

“By promoting dental screenings and collecting more data, SB 379 will improve child oral-health outcomes in the future,” Atkins said. “And just this week, we’ve seen the president attempt to chip away at the Affordable Care Act. We will do whatever we can to preserve the law’s benefits in California. SB 223 makes sure that Californians remain protected by the ACA’s higher non-discrimination standards.”

Gov. Brown previously signed the following Atkins bills: SB 2 (affordable housing), SB 214 (San Diego River Conservancy), SB 285 (public employees) SB 462 (juvenile-justice data), SB 587 (probation officers), SB 625 (youth honorable discharge) and SB 667 (Riverine and Riparian Stewardship Program).