Groups Oppose Proposals To Modify Structure of Regulatory Boards for Health-Related Professions
The Los Angeles Times on Monday examined the status of policy recommendations coming from the California Performance Review, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) revised proposals for state boards that regulate medical professionals.
Schwarzenegger's original plans included a proposal to abolish 88 boards and commissions, including some that regulate health professionals. However, his 2005 revisions proposed to consolidate some of the boards and modify the leadership of medical professional regulation boards so that the boards would include more members of the public, rather than health care professionals.
If the proposed changes are not made, Schwarzenegger said he would veto legislation that would extend the existence of the boards, which eventually would transfer regulatory power to state agencies headed by political appointees.
Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), who heads the legislative panel overseeing the boards, said the Legislature will "continue working as we have. I can't be intimidated by the governor's veto threat."
Jack Lewin, CEO of the California Medical Association, said, "We really think the (medical) board needs to have a solid foundation of physician expertise to do its job."
Terry Tamminen, Schwarzenegger's Cabinet secretary, said, "The medical board is a perfect example of a board that has dragged its feet when it comes to responding to complaints," adding, "It doesn't take a medical professional to realize something is wrong. That doesn't mean we won't listen to professional advice" (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 8/22).