Hurdles Remain for Health Care Reform Proposals
A recent editorial and opinion piece weigh in on the outlook for health care reform in California. Summaries of each appear below.
- San Diego Union-Tribune: Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines (R-Clovis) and five other Republican members of the Assembly on Wednesday asked Assembly Health Committee Chair Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton) to schedule a hearing to consider whether reform by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) or Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) would violate the federal Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974, according to a Union-Tribune editorial. The Union-Tribune calls for other editorial boards to urge Dymally to convene such a hearing, concluding, "Then, after the futility of pursuing employer mandates finally sinks in, they can join us in urging Congress to give California a waiver" to ERISA "so it can actually tackle the problem of the uninsured -- in legal fashion" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/28).
- Timm Herdt, Ventura County Star: Núñez last week acknowledged that he is more concerned that his health care reform plan would be overturned in a voter referendum than by legal challenges, spurring confirmation from the National Federation of Independent Businesses that the group is in fact considering such a referendum, Herdt writes in his column for the Star. However, health care reform is backed by a wider coalition than it was in 2004 -- when a previous attempt at health care reform was repealed in California -- and the issue is higher on voters' list of priorities, according to Herdt. For these reasons, "a referendum is a much riskier strategy this time around," Herdt writes (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 6/27).