Analyst’s Report Raises Questions About Passage of Health Reform Plan
KQED's "The California Report" on Thursday included a discussion with KQED correspondent Sarah Varney about a postponed Senate Health Committee vote on compromise health care reform legislation (ABX1 1) negotiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) (Myrow, "The California Report," KQED, 1/24).
On Wednesday, the committee delayed a vote on the plan until Monday to allow lawmakers more time to review a report by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office that found the health care overhaul could leave the state with a $4 billion shortfall within five years if its insurance costs were underestimated (California Healthline, 1/24).
The segment also includes comments from:
- Senate Health Committee Chair Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica); and
- Núñez ("The California Report," KQED, 1/24).
Audio of the complete program is available online.
KQED's "This Week in Northern California" on Friday is scheduled to include a report on the compromise reform plan ("This Week in Northern California" Web site, 1/25).
Additional details about the segment are available online. A broadcast schedule is available on the program's Web site.
Summaries of an opinion piece and editorials regarding the health care reform debate in California appear below.
- John Arensmeyer, Sacramento Bee: "ABX1 1 offers a real bargain to small businesses and shelters them from the vagaries of a dysfunctional and deteriorating health care insurance market," Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, writes in a Bee opinion piece. Employers "want to do the right thing by our workers for both practical and personal reasons," and the reform bill "gives small businesses a chance to do that," according to Arensmeyer (Arensmeyer, Sacramento Bee, 1/25).
- Sacramento Bee: "It doesn't happen often that a Republican governor comes together with Democrats to craft a health care overhaul that is supported" by hospitals, business groups and other stakeholders, a Bee editorial states. "This is an opportunity that the Senate, the state, can't afford to pass up," according to the editorial (Sacramento Bee, 1/25).
- San Diego Union-Tribune: "For a year, we have expressed amazement that" health care reform proposals by Schwarzenegger, Núñez and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) "have received so little tough scrutiny," a Union-Tribune editorial states. "Finally, the flaws of the health care overhaul are in the spotlight," the editorial states, adding, "As a result of all of this long-overdue scrutiny, the bill is likely to be rejected Monday" by the Senate Health Committee (San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/25).
- San Jose Mercury News: "Californians have repeatedly said in polls that they want the state to enact comprehensive health care reforms," a Mercury News editorial states. The Senate Health Committee "is right to be concerned about the cost" of adopting the plan when the state faces a budget deficit, but the committee "shouldn't block voters from having the final say," according to the editorial (San Jose Mercury News, 1/25).