Fair and just access to health care is a human right. But right now, most California counties charge people in jail a $3 copay when they seek medical or dental care; they are also allowed to charge for medical equipment like glasses and dentures. This creates a dangerous barrier to health care for incarcerated people who must choose between buying basic necessities, maintaining communication with their families, or seeking care.

Thanks to advocacy by California Coalition of Women Prisoners, Initiate Justice, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and ACLU, California’s prison agency announced that it will no longer charge copays or for medical equipment in state prisons. But the more than 70,000 people in California jails won’t benefit from this decision. AB 45 will eliminate copays and medical equipment charges in county jails and ensure they can’t be reinstated in prison.

Bill Developments

May 23, 2019: Passed the Assembly
May 16, 2019: Approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee February 26, 2019: Approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee December 3, 2018: Introduced

Sponsors

ACLU of California, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Initiate Justice, Union of American Physicians and Dentists

Authors

Assemblymembers Mark Stone, Reggie Jones-Sawyer; Co-authors Assemblymembers David Chiu, Ash Kalra, Scott Wiener

Status

Passed House

Session

2019-2020

Bill number

Position

Support

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