HMO REFORM: Democratic Candidate Offers Plan For California
Al Checchi, Democratic candidate for California governor, yesterday "criticized Gov. Pete Wilson's handling of two controversial health care issues" while proposing his own plan to reform California HMOs. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Checchi condemned Wilson's veto on Wednesday of "legislation that would have required health care plans to offer contraceptive services," as well as the governor's policy of denying prenatal care to illegal immigrants.
Time To Reform
Checchi said the "growth of HMOs has ... created a 'crisis of confidence' among patients who have seen their doctors' recommendations vetoed by health plan administrators or insurance companies." Among his reform elements, Checchi said he "would assure patients the right to choose from among health care providers and require that health plans cover emergency and preventive treatment." Additionally, Checchi would "make HMOs subject to malpractice lawsuits the same as individual doctors." He said, "Simply because I am getting care from an HMO which happens to be an insurer, to me does not entitle them to protection from malpractice" (Marelius, 2/13).