Broad Alliance Will Champion Health Reform in California
Health care industry and labor leaders today are expected to announce a coalition to support health care reform efforts in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6).
Founding members of the alliance are:
- Blue Shield of California;
- California Medical Association;
- Catholic Healthcare West, the state's largest not-for-profit hospital chain;
- Health Net;
- Kaiser Permanente; and
- Service Employees International Union.
All of the current alliance participants supported SB 2, a 2003 law that would have required some businesses to provide health insurance to workers. Business groups in 2004 qualified a referendum on the law for the ballot, and the mandate was repealed.
The coalition was formed in part to counter a similar effort to oppose a campaign opposing health care reform in the state. Organizers said the groups have not committed to specific amounts of funding but will be able to run a multimillion-dollar campaign to support an overhaul of the health care system (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 2/6).
Business groups have said it is too early to determine how California businesses will react to health care reform efforts (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6).
Organizers said they hope to expand the coalition in the ensuing weeks and make it as broad as possible (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 2/6).
State plans -- such as Schwarzenegger's -- to provide universal health coverage "will do little to tackle the major problem plaguing the American system: out-of-control costs," Sally Pipes, president and CEO of Pacific Research Institute, writes in a Detroit News letter to the editor. The proposal "imposes[s] even more regulations on insurance, while demanding excessive fees from employers, doctors and hospitals," Pipes writes, adding that such an approach "will only drive up expenses" (Pipes, Detroit News, 2/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.