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February 09, 2008

California Health Reform Bill: Unfairly Favored Insurance Companies

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

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

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

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

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Posted by healthinsurance at February 9, 2008 07:16 PM