Expanding Health Coverage Would Limit Affordability
A bill (AB 8) by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) to overhaul California's health care system is "the most noxious" of several measures being considered by the Legislature, an Orange County Register editorial states.
The legislation is "based on the assumption that the government needs your money more than you do, or knows better than you how your life should be lived," according to the editorial.
Although AB 8 seeks to expand health care coverage to more residents, the measure "instead would have a devastating economic effect and make health insurance less available and affordable," the editorial states.
The bill "would contribute to future budget deficits, increase taxes and mean higher insurance premiums and job losses," according to the editorial.
The provision requiring 7.5% mandatory contributions from employers is "deceptively call[ed] a 'fee' to avoid the constitutional two-thirds majority to pass taxes," the editorial states.
On the other hand, the editorial states, "We are pleased at the sound judgment shown last week when AB 1554 failed to pass the Senate Health Committee."
The measure by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) would have required insurers to justify rate increases.
"Alas, the bill was granted reconsideration, and could be re-heard in January" 2008, according to the editorial (Orange County Register, 7/17).