HMO LIABILITY: Senate Committee Passes Right-to-Sue Measure
"Reigniting a major health care debate," the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday passed along straight party lines, a measure that would give Californians the right to sue their HMOs. State Sen. Liz Figueroa's (D-Fremont) SB 21 "is seen as one of the key pieces of the majority Democrats' effort" to push HMO reform through the Legislature and onto the governor's desk, the Sacramento Bee reports (Matthews, 4/7). The Los Angeles Times reports that the committee's action "dealt a substantial setback to the managed care industry," but "heartened supporters of the bill, who voiced hope that it would find a favorable reception from Gov. Gray Davis." Admitting that Davis had not yet "committed himself to supporting her bill," Figueroa said, "We've been getting some very positive signals from the Davis administration and from the governor himself" (Ingram, 4/7). Supporters of expanded liability released a poll yesterday conducted by Davis' pollsters that showed 87% of Californians support the right to sue. The measure now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee (Ainsworth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).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.