GOV. DAVIS: Says Slew of HMO Bills Could Prove Too Costly
With the Legislature in recess and nearly 70 health care bills approaching his desk, Gov. Gray Davis is launching a "quiet" campaign to "argue that there is no public groundswell for revamping the system and warning that doing so could destroy it," the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports. Hoping to convince lawmakers "to shelve some of the bills," 27 of which would require managed care organizations to expand coverage, Davis is conducting polls and emphasizing that "Californians are generally happy with managed care but are deeply concerned about its rising costs." State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) said, "Our job is to pass legislation. Who do these non-elected people think they are, telling those of us elected by constituencies of 800,000 people, who run on certain programs, that we ought to slow bills down and make their job easier? Our job is to try to establish policy." While encouraging large employers to lobby lawmakers against high-cost bills, Davis has expressed support for bills "that would bring about more liability for HMOs; outside review of disputed HMOs' decisions; and a guarantee that doctors make the final calls on treatment," as well as "some mandated coverage" (Lindlaw, 8/12).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.