Governor, Lawmakers Cannot Give Up on Health Reform
"There is no question that Californians' hopes for achieving comprehensive health reform took a decidedly disappointing step backward" when the Senate Health Committee rejected a compromise health care reform measure (ABX1 1) last month, "but California's leaders cannot let it end there," Robert Ross, CEO of the California Endowment, writes in a Capitol Weekly opinion piece.
Ross calls on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and lawmakers to pass a health care reform plan that consists of provisions supported by all stakeholders in the negotiations, including business, labor and health providers.
According to Ross, this overhaul plan would:
- Create insurance market reforms;
- Expand health care coverage to the state's 800,000 uninsured children; and
- Provide funding for health care reform "while continuing to support California's hospitals."
Ross maintains, however, that officials should ensure that California's budget deficit "does not put the health care system in more jeopardy."
"Our leaders cannot let this year be remembered for what didn't happen and the missed opportunities that could have been," Ross writes, adding, "Rather, our legislative leaders need to remember that California's parents, their children, our elderly and the working poor need action on health reform now."
He concludes, "Anything less is wholly unacceptable" (Ross, Capitol Weekly, 2/7). 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.