GOP Gov. Hopeful Whitman Says Reform Law Too Costly for Calif.
On Tuesday, Meg Whitman -- former eBay CEO and the front-runner for the Republican gubernatorial nomination -- said California should work to block the new national health care reform law because it would add to California's budget deficit, the Los Angeles Times reports.
At a campaign appearance in Redondo Beach, Whitman said the law "will create another $3 billion unfunded mandate for California at a time when we can least afford it."
Whitman said she opposes the requirement that all U.S. residents purchase health insurance. She added that if elected governor, she would "strongly encourage" the state attorney general to file suit challenging the constitutionality of the law.
Whitman conceded that two provisions in the health reform law were valuable:
- Prohibiting insurance companies to refuse coverage for those with pre-existing conditions; and
- Prohibiting health plan rescissions.
However, she said that those provisions should not take effect until other health system changes are in place, such as electronic health records and anti-fraud efforts.
California Health Plans
During her appearance, Whitman said that too few companies are permitted to sell health insurance in California, which has led to a small number of insurers having a lot of powerÂ to setÂ premiums. She highlighted Anthem Blue Cross' plan to raise premiums by as much as 39% for individual insurance plans.Â
According to the Times, Whitman seemed to be referencing a Republican proposal to allow out-of-state companies to sell insurance policies in California under the rules that apply in the states where they are based. Opponents of the proposal say it would negate California's consumer protections and encourage insurers to base themselves in states with the loosest restrictions (Decker, Los Angeles Times, 3/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.