California Health Reform Bill Unfairly Favored Insurance Companies

Armen Hareyan's picture
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While the California health carereform bill "was touted as a fix to our broken health care system,"it is "clear that this proposal was bad for consumers and unfairly favoredinsurance companies," state Sen. Leland Yee (D) writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece (Yee, SanFrancisco Chronicle, 2/5).

The California Senate Health Committee last week voted 7-1, with threeabstentions, to reject health care reform legislation (ABX1 1) supported byGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D) (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 1/29).

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Yee continues, "This bill was not a step in the right direction, but ahuge jump backward for working families who lack health care" because"it would have required consumers to buy their policies regardless ofcost." Under the bill, "all Californians would have been required tobuy insurance with no caps on premiums, no regulation of the costs of insuranceor medical expenses, no maximum deductibles and no clearly defined minimumcoverage," Yee writes. The bill also "would have provided incentivesfor employers who now provide benefits to cancel coverage in order to paycheaper premiums or shift more costs to workers," according to Yee.

Yee writes that consumers "would have been forced to foot the bill soinsurance companies could profit," adding, "Instead of pushing such afatally flawed legislation, we should all be fighting to change our failinghealth care system without penalizing those who can least afford it" (SanFrancisco Chronicle, 2/5).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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