Health Mandate Bill Passes Assembly Committee
The Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday voted 9-3 to approve a bill (AB 1952) by Assembly member Joe Nation (D-San Rafael) that would require all state residents to purchase health insurance, but the committee voted to reject a similar bill (AB 2450) by Assembly member Keith Stuart Richman (D-Granada Hills), the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Both bills would create a health care mandate in the state and require health insurance companies to offer an essential benefit plan that would cover medically necessary services for members.
Nation's bill would establish a benefits fund that would be financed by insurance plan premiums, state allocations and contributions from employers who do not offer health insurance to workers.
Richman's bill would require individuals to pay for their own insurance but would provide subsidies for low-income families.
Critics of the legislation say the bills do not address increasing health costs and barriers that prevent residents with pre-existing medical conditions from obtaining affordable coverage. Taxpayer and consumer groups say health insurance mandates also can lead to an increase in premiums, the number of uninsured and medical bankruptcies (Young, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/26).