In Governor’s Race, Uninsured Have Become ‘Political Darlings,’ Bee Editorial Says
Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles, has "outflanked" Gov. Gray Davis (D) in his advocacy to help the uninsured and support for a waiver to expand Healthy Families to cover the parents of children enrolled in program, a Sacramento Bee editorial says. Davis had assumed a "balance-the-budget stance" and planned to "spare" the added cost of the annual $200 million Healthy Families expansion for 18 months, according to the editorial. However, when Riordan urged Davis not to delay the expansion, the editorial says that Riordan "changed the politics" of the issue. Riordan "came out strongly for the uninsured" and the expansion program, which according to the Bee, "transformed" Davis from "advocate to impediment" at the "single moment" that the Bush administration approved the waiver. However, the editorial points out that Davis "didn't stay there long." According to the editorial, "It is now the governor's 'genuine desire' for the Legislature to find what was not in his own proposed budget" -- the funds for the Healthy Families expansion -- despite the state's $12 billion deficit. The Bee concludes that the "unusual political circumstance" surrounding the Healthy Families expansion has made the uninsured the "political darlings" of California politics (Sacramento Bee, 1/31).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.