Blue Shield Chief Touts Mandatory Health Coverage
Requiring Californians to maintain health insurance coverage would "make health care more affordable because costs are shared equitably" and would help ensure access to preventive care, Bruce Bodaken -- chair, CEO and president of Blue Shield of California -- writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece.
According to Bodaken, health insurance costs have risen significantly in states that have required insurers to offer coverage to all applicants without requiring state residents to buy coverage. Those states -- Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York -- "had the three highest average insurance premiums in the country," Bodaken writes.
Bodaken applauds provisions of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal that would require individuals to maintain health insurance coverage and mandate that insurers offer coverage to all applicants, writing that such as system would help ensure that "everyone can have access to good health care."
Noting that most insured Californians are pleased with their coverage but concerned about rising costs and the growing number of the uninsured
Bodaken writes that California can address residents' concerns about rising health care costs and the growing uninsured population if the Legislature "takes the bold action of requiring everyone to be covered while compelling insurers to accept all applicants" (Bodaken, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/16).