Health Experts Criticize Fiorina’s Proposal To Rework Health System
A group of California and national health care experts -- including several who helped craft the federal health reform law -- are criticizing Republican senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina's proposal to repeal the overhaul and replace it with an alternative health care model, the Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal" reports.
Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Last week, Fiorina said she would support a plan to provide all U.S. residents with tax incentives that they could use to purchase health insurance, instead of obtaining coverage through their employer.
Fiorina said this model would allow residents to "own" their health benefits.
In a one-page statement provided to the Times, forty-nine leading health experts defended the health reform law. They wrote, "Fiorina's plan will simply result in a loss of federal and state tax revenues with little improvement to the functioning of insurance markets in the U.S., little reduction in the number of uninsured and displacement of many who are happy with their existing insurance arrangements."
The letter's signatories included:
- David Cutler, a Harvard economist and adviser for President Obama's 2008 election campaign; and
- Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who worked with the Obama administration on the health reform law.
Julie Soderlund, spokesperson for Fiorina, said it is not surprising that Boxer and her supporters "would send this kind of politically-motivated letter in an attempt to distort the facts."
She added, "The reality is that Carly supported the goals of health care reform, but unfortunately the law that ultimately passed achieves none of them" (Levey, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 10/28).
Boxer Pulling Ahead in New Field Poll
Meanwhile, a new Field Poll found that Boxer is leading the Senate race by about eight percentage points.
Among likely voters, the poll found 49% favor Boxer while 41% support Fiorina. Six percent of respondents were undecided and 4% favor other candidates (Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/29).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.