Cost Estimates Boost Democrats’ Health Reform Plans
After months of speeches and campaign-style appearances, California's health care stakeholders this week learned perhaps the most important detail of Democratic legislative leaders' health care overhaul plans: the cost.
An independent analysis estimates that proposals by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata would cover the cost of insuring 69% of California's uninsured through employer and individual contributions, as well as federal subsidies. Plus, the plans would bring in enough money to expand coverage to low-income Californians and uninsured children from low- and moderate income families.
Hearing the news, key influential groups in the health care reform debate -- the California Labor Federation, California Medical Association and Health Access California -- started throwing their weight behind the Democrats' proposals.
So what does that mean for Gov. Schwarzenegger's reform plan?
A spokesperson for the governor said he's still not convinced that the Perata and Núñez proposals are the best options on the table. And so the governor headed to community meetings in Concord and San Diego, hoping he could convince California's voters to see things his way on health care reform.
As lawmakers continue to pour over the various health care overhaul plans, bills dealing with physician-assisted suicide, clinical trials for prescription drugs and other issues were amended this week.