California Republicans Back Separate Health Reform Plan
California's health care system is "inefficient and expensive," but overhauling the system by adopting universal health care would "put the health care system for more than 30 million Californians in jeopardy," Senate Republican leader Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin) writes in an Orange County Register opinion piece.
Such proposals offered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Democratic leaders in the Legislature "will also drastically affect the states' competitive and job-creating economy," Ackerman writes.
Alternatively, a health care reform proposal by Senate Republicans "addresses shortcomings without sacrificing our existing health system, which serves the vast majority of Californians so well," according to Ackerman.
Ackerman writes that SB 236 by Senate Republicans would provide more accessible and affordable coverage by:
- Eliminating unnecessary regulations for health plans;
- Encouraging use of clinics for nonemergency and preventive care; and
- Redirecting health care funds to encourage efficiency in California's health care system.
Ackerman adds that the measure also would not raise taxes.
According to Ackerman, Senate Republicans' proposal would exempt contributions to health savings accounts from state income taxes. Those contributions already are exempt from federal income taxes, a move that Ackerman says encourages consumers to "save, tax-free, for future medical expenses, in combination with their health insurance."
The bill is before the Senate Rules Committee (Ackerman, Orange County Register, 5/22). 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.