California Medical Association Won’t Support Senate Reform Bill
The California Medical Association has come out against the Senate health care reform bill (HR 3590) because it says the measure would raise local health care costs and hinder access to care for seniors and low-income patients, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
The association primarily took issue with provisions of the Senate bill that relate to Medicaid and Medicare.
Critics contend that the legislation would:
- Lower Medicare reimbursement rates;
- Remove congressional oversight by creating an Independent Medicare Commission; and
- Shift Medicare funding from urban to rural areas.
In addition, the Senate bill is likely to expand the number of people eligible for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
If the program continues to grow, CMA officials said some physicians might stop accepting Medi-Cal patients because California already has some of the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the country (Hennessy-Fiske, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/2).
Continued Support for Health Reform
Although CMA opposes the Senate legislation, the group said it supports provisions of the bill related to mandatory health insurance purchasing and other insurance reforms (United Press International, 12/2).
Dev GnanaDev -- CMA executive committee member and medical director at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center -- said the association continues to "solidly support health care reform."CMA officials have said the House health care reform bill (HR 3962) is more in line with their goals because it would increase Medicare reimbursement rates ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 12/2). 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.