California Health Reform Raises Advocates’ Concerns
Summaries of opinion pieces regarding health care reform in California appear below.
- Jamie Court, Los Angeles Times: "Californians are ready for market reforms to make health insurance more available and affordable, including forcing insurers to price policies fairly and preventing them from denying coverage to less healthy patients," Court, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, writes in a Times opinion piece. "Sacramento legislators should make the system fairer, regulate health care costs, then expand subsidies for low-income families," Court writes. "They should fix the broken market, not foist it on the public," according to Court (Court, Los Angeles Times, 9/25).
- Mark Paul, Sacramento Bee: "California could pay for broader health coverage by redirecting the badly targeted health insurance subsidies it is already handing out," Paul, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, writes in a Bee opinion piece, referring to state and federal income tax exemptions for employer-sponsored health coverage. "To be sure, retargeting subsidies would be a delicate political task, but no more so than asking voters to pile new burdens on business, or raise the regressive sales tax," Paul writes. "A big chunk of the money needed for health care reform is already in the system," according to Paul (Paul, Sacramento Bee, 9/25).
- Glen Tullman, San Jose Mercury News: California lawmakers should consider incorporating electronic prescribing to a health care reform plan because the practice "could prevent an estimated 150,000 patient injuries each year in California," Tullman, co-chair of the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative and CEO of Allscripts, writes in a Mercury News opinion piece. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and state legislators "have the opportunity to take crucial steps to mandate the universal adoption of e-prescribing systems by 2010, ultimately saving lives" and as much as $17 billion annually in costs stemming from medication errors, according to Tullman (Tullman, San Jose Mercury News, 9/23).