Assembly Republicans Sidestep Mandates in Health Care Plan
Assembly Republicans' package of 18 health care reform proposals seeks to reduce the number of uninsured residents by two-thirds without relying on employer contributions or tax increases, the Fresno Bee reports.
The plan does not require all state residents to obtain health coverage but instead promotes tax-free health savings accounts and permits individuals to deduct medical expenses from state income taxes. Employers that offer insurance would receive tax deductions.
Under the plan, Medi-Cal beneficiaries also would have access to HSAs funded with public money (Schultz, Fresno Bee, 3/15).
The proposals would allow out-of-state insurance companies to operate in California in an effort to create competition and lower plan costs and would permit insurers to sell health plans that do not include benefits currently required by state law, including asthma management and diabetes and osteoporosis treatments (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 3/15).
The plan also would:
- Allow businesses to purchase plans that cover both medical care and workers' compensation;
- Offer tax credits to physicians who treat uninsured or underinsured patients;
- Require foundations that were created when the state allowed health plans to merge or become for-profit to spend 90% of their money on health care for poor residents; and
- Increase Medi-Cal reimbursements to physicians and hospitals (California Healthline, 3/14).