HEALTH CARE REFORM: For Davis, Mum’s The Word
As the clock ticks on legislative proposals to reform California's health care system, there is still no word from Gov. Gray Davis on "exactly what HMO legislation he'd be willing to sign and what he would veto," the AP/San Diego Union- Tribune reports (Willis, 8/17). As many as 70 proposals, ranging from giving consumers the right to sue their HMOs for denial of care to requiring health insurers to cover prescription contraceptives, are due to hit the governor's desk in the next few weeks. He must approve or veto them before September 10th, when the Legislature adjourns, or they will not be considered until next year (AP/Ventura County Star, 8/16). Davis met yesterday with legislators to discuss the managed care measures, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Although he has not indicated what action he will take, Davis spokesperson Hilary McLean said the governor's objectives include:
- providing some sort of liability for HMOs "if they practice medicine and there is a very bad result;"
- establishing that doctors, not HMO accountants, make the final decision on a patient's care;
- establishing independent review of disputed HMO decisions (8/17).