HMO REFORM: Wilson Vetoes Wildman Bills
Gov. Pete Wilson yesterday rejected five bills sponsored by state Assemblyman Scott Wildman (D-Los Angeles) -- two of which would have affected managed care. AB 497, "one of 10 bills in a package dubbed 'The Patients' Bill of Rights,'" would have required HMOs and other health plans "to create and maintain systems to ensure timely access to services, including referrals for specialty care." The Los Angeles Times reports that Wilson said the measure was needless because "existing law already requires plans to make all services readily available and accessible at reasonable times." Wildman disagreed, saying, "This was a modest step. It was a good bill." He went on to voice optimism for the measure's future. "I think that with a new governor and someone who is sympathetic to consumers' rights in health care we will be able to get a measure through next year," he said. Click here to read past CHL coverage of the bill.
Wilson also vetoed Wildman's AB 2690. The measure "would have given some Medi-Cal patients the choice of opting out of managed care in order to take part in fee-for-service programs." For example, the bill would have provided the fee-for-service option to persons with "certain hereditary disorders, such as hemophilia" (Fox, 9/22).