Editorial: Perata Health Reform Proposal Flawed
A proposal to expand health insurance coverage in California through an employer mandate and employee contributions "is an awful start to a needed debate," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial states (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/14).
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) on Tuesday proposed a plan that would require all employers to provide insurance or pay into a state fund for such coverage. Under the plan, employees would contribute to the insurance cost through a payroll deduction and would be required to offer proof of coverage when filing taxes (California Healthline, 12/13).
The editorial states that the plan "falls apart under scrutiny," in part because it "would encourage businesses to drop their own coverage" and "reduce insurers' incentives to control costs."
According to the editorial, an expected reform plan by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) "is likely to be far superior to Perata's." The editorial concludes, "But that won't be difficult" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/14).
Several local broadcast programs recently included discussions of Perata's health care proposal:
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?": Guests on the program included Michael Shaw, assistant state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, and Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," KCRW, 12/13). Audio of the segment is available online.
- KPBS' "KPBS News": The segment includes comments from Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Kim Belshé (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 12/13). A transcript and audio of the segment are available online.
- KPCC's "AirTalk": Guests on the program included Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights; Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles); and Shaw (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 12/13). Audio of the segment is available online.
- KQED's "The California Report": The segment includes comments from Perata and Senate Republican Caucus Chair George Runner (R-Lancaster) (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 12/13). Audio of the segment is available online.