DAVIS: Will Stay Mute on Pending Legislation
Gov. Gray Davis has announced a new policy "not to comment on legislation, period," the Los Angeles Times reports. Davis press secretary Michael Bustamante said yesterday that the policy "applies chiefly to new bills that may be heavily amended before reaching Davis for signature." Davis does not want to lend his support for a measure, only to see the bill "gutted and moved 180 degrees from where it started," Bustamante said. He added, "There are bills you would love to be able to comment on. They appear to be good bills, but ... at the end of the day, months from now, you never known what those bills will look like" (Ingram, 2/11). Davis' predecessor, Gov. Pete Wilson, was known for numerous comments on pending legislation that often provoked amendments in attempts to ensure his signature. In the end, such bills were often rejected by Wilson anyway. A sampling of Davis' comments during the gubernatorial race on health care reform:
- Davis supports "patient's right to sue their HMOs for malpractice when the organizations' medical decisions result in harm," but "would apply the current $250,000 cap on malpractice damage awards for pain and suffering to HMOs as well as individual hospitals and doctors." He did not, however, rule out increasing the cap.
- Davis is in favor of mental health parity (see CHL 2/1/98), limits on "drive-through" mastectomies, mandatory contraceptive coverage and extending Healthy Families program eligibility (see CHL 1/11/99).
- He said he "would rather work with the HMO industry than against it," yet is "believed to be more sympathetic to HMO reform measures" (see CHL 1/22/99).