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Governor Vetoes Medical Interpreters Bill

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Governor Jerry Brown has included AB 1263, the Medical Interpreters Bill, in a group of bills passed by the California legislature that he vetoed. As Frying Pan News’ Gary Cohn wrote August 20, “Day after day, non-English speaking patients are seeing doctors and nurses throughout California without the aid of medical interpreters, sometimes with tragic results.”

Cohn’s article highlighted stories in which Californians lacking fluency in English received harmful or unintended medical advice, or who were kept in the dark on the medical conditions of loved ones. AB 1263, authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), would have spent $200,000 to gain access to $270 million in Affordable Care Act funds to create about 7,000 interpreter jobs within 10 years.

The governor vetoed the measure Sunday, commenting, according to the Sacramento Bee, that “California has embarked on an unprecedented expansion to add more than a million people to our Medi-Cal program. Given the challenges and the many unknowns the state faces in this endeavor, I don’t believe it would be wise to introduce yet another complex element.”

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