Editorials Evaluate Moves in Health Reform Debate
Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) on Tuesday announced that their proposals to overhaul California's health care system would call for a mandatory 7.5% contribution from most businesses, above the 4% employer contribution Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) called for in his own health care reform proposal.
Also this week, an independent analysis of the plans' costs was released, estimating that Perata's and Núñez's plans would cost less than Schwarzenegger's but would expand coverage to fewer of the state's uninsured residents (California Healthline, 5/16).
Summaries of editorials addressing the Democrats' proposals and prospects for health care reform in California appear below.
- San Diego Union-Tribune: Perata's and Núñez's proposals for employer mandates would "kil[l] off business-provided insurance and in back-door fashion pu[t] the state in charge of health coverage -- at vast cost to taxpayers," a Union-Tribune editorial states. "What's equally hard to fathom" is that both proposals would violate a 1974 federal law that bars states from requiring employers that do business in multiple states to offer specific benefits, according to the editorial (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/18).
- San Jose Mercury News: The differences between health care reform proposals offered by the governor and Democratic leaders in the Legislature "are small enough that a compromise on comprehensive health care reform remains very much a possibility this year," a Mercury News editorial states. "The fundamental consensus on sharing the cost among employers, employees and everyone with a stake in the health care field remains the best hope for a bipartisan breakthrough," the editorial concludes (San Jose Mercury News, 5/18).