Diverse Interests Back California Health Care Reform Efforts
Leaders from the health care industry, business groups and organized labor are lining up to support health care reform efforts in California, a move that could bolster the odds of such a plan being enacted this year, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times reports.
Supporters of efforts to rework California's health care system include:
- Blue Shield of California;
- California AARP;
- California Medical Association;
- Health Net;
- Kaiser Permanente;
- Labor unions for teachers and service workers;
- Safeway; and
- Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
In addition, Steven Burd, CEO of Safeway, in the next few weeks is expected to announce a separate coalition of large businesses that also will endorse health care reform efforts in California.
MediaNews/Times reports that the coalition's hiring of a political consultant to develop an advertising campaign shows that it is serious about pushing for an overhaul of California's health care system.
Although the group has not thrown its support behind a specific reform proposal, MediaNews/Times reports that it could face difficulty maintaining its alliance as it tries to broker compromises.
However, David Scagrow, a Democratic strategist and adviser to California AARP, said the coalition would provide lawmakers "political cover" to reach an agreement on health care reform legislation if the group "can gather the resources and stick together."
Perhaps most notably, the movement's diverse group of supporters could improve the chances that a legislative health care reform proposal would survive a voter referendum like the one that repealed a 2003 effort to expand health insurance coverage (Zapler, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times, 5/4).
KXJZ's "Insight" radio program on Friday is scheduled to include a discussion with Schwarzenegger about his health care reform proposal.
A broadcast schedule is available online.
Audio of the complete interview will available online after the broadcast.