Governor Issues Public Threat To Veto Health Bills, Other Legislation
On Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) went public with his threat to veto more than 700 bills if legislators fail this week to reach a deal to address water issues this week, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Speaking before the Association of Community College Trustees' Leadership Congress, Schwarzenegger said, "I made it very clear to the legislators and to the leaders that if this does not get done, then I will veto a lot of their legislation" (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 10/9).
Some of the bills currently on the governor's desk include:
- AB 2 by Assembly member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), whichÂ would require health insurers to undergo a review and demonstrate intentional misrepresentation before rescinding an individual health insurance policy. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar measure last year;
- AB 98 also by De La Torre, whichÂ would require health insurance plans to cover maternity services. Some business groups, insurers and Republican legislators oppose the measure;
- AB 119 by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), whichÂ would prohibit health insurers from charging different premiums based on gender. Some business groups, health plans and Republican legislators oppose the measure;
- SB 820 by Sens. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) and Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), whichÂ would require medical staff peer review committees to report physicians with substance abuse or mental health issues to the Medical Board of California. The board would then follow up and review any corrective action imposed (California Healthline, 9/21); andÂ
- AB 1383 also by Jones, whichÂ would impose a fee on hospitals in order to draw down increased federal reimbursements for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. Officials say the governor has signaled an inclination to veto the proposal because of concerns raised by anti-tax groups (California Healthline, 10/7).
On Thursday, Schwarzenegger met with legislative leaders from both parties in an effort to strike a water deal. Negotiations are expected to continue in the coming days.
The governor has until midnight Sunday to take action on the bills on his desk.Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) dismissed the veto threat and said he is confident the governor will consider each bill on its merits (Sacramento Bee, 10/9). 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.