California Democrats Hope Revised Reform Plan Can Win Support
Supporters of California Democrats' revised health care reform proposal say that provisions of the plan that would allow some individuals to decline health insurance coverage could help win support from business groups, according to KQED's "The California Report."
The plan would exempt any state residents who would have to spend more than 6.5% of household income on health care costs from having to buy coverage.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) argues that the provision should encourage insurers to control health insurance premiums so that they are not left with a disproportionately unhealthy membership pool.
However, it is yet to be seen whether the theory "would actually hold water," according to "The California Report" (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 11/7).
Audio of the segment is available online.
Summaries of an editorial and opinion pieces regarding the health care reform debate in California appear below.
- San Francisco Chronicle: "We're not thrilled about either" Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) plan to lease the state lottery or Democratic legislative leaders' plan to increase the tobacco tax to help pay for "the government subsidies that would be required for low-income workers," a Chronicle editorial states. "Each tax is regressive, and the tobacco-tax revenue ... is likely to diminish each year," according to the editorial. "Still, California is moving tantalizingly close to a plan to extend health coverage to most, if not all, of its 4.9 million uninsured," the editorial concludes (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/8).
- George Skelton, Los Angeles Times: "When all else fails, Democrats and so-called reform groups habitually turn to the cowardly cigarette tax because, since most voters don't smoke, they don't pay," Skelton writes in his "Capitol Journal" column for the Times. A tobacco tax hike "is a lousy revenue source for health care because it's gradually declining while medical costs are rapidly rising" (Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
- Daniel Weintraub: Sacramento Bee: The Democratic legislative leaders' health plan "brings them closer to the position of [Schwarzenegger], but significant differences between the two plans still remain," Weintraub writes in his Bee column. Before a final vote on a plan, "both sides will continue to negotiate in an attempt to resolve the issues that still divide them," Weintraub writes (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 11/8).
- Steve Wiegand, Sacramento Bee: The "issue of health care reform has lately been prominently fixed in the frontal lobes of many people, particularly your elected officials," Wiegand writes in a Bee opinion piece. "But as proposed reforms have evolved, the issue has become more complicated than it was originally" (Wiegand, Sacramento Bee, 11/8).