Editorial, Opinion Pieces Weigh Basic Health Program
"Lawmakers should approve" legislation (SB 703), by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), that would establish a Basic Health Program to "give low-income families an alternative to the insurance exchange that California is creating," a Los Angeles Times editorial states. John Ramey -- executive director of Local Health Plans of California, which represents not-for-profit health plans -- writes in Sacramento Bee opinion piece that under the Basic Health Program, "more Californians will be able to afford insurance and have access to health care providers" because "premiums and cost-sharing" in the program "are estimated to be less than in the exchange." In a separate Bee opinion piece, Jim Wunderman -- president and CEO of the Bay Area Council -- writes that the programÂ "would effectively remove 700,000 people from" the state's Health Benefit Exchange and place themÂ into "a government-run, Medi-Cal-type program," which "has the potential to shift more costs to California businesses and to raise the cost ofÂ insurance premiumsÂ for middle-class consumers who purchase their insurance through the exchange." Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
- "Putting Health Coverage Within Reach" (Los Angeles Times, 8/29).
- "Health Plan Would Offer Same Benefits but Lower Premiums" (Ramey, Sacramento Bee, 8/30).
- "Controlling Costs Must Be Paramount in Health Care Reform" (Wunderman, Sacramento Bee, 8/29).