L.A. TIMES: Davis Should Move, But with Caution
An editorial in today's Los Angeles Times notes that "HMOs and insurers are mounting a calculated effort to seize the managed care reform debate before it gallops out of their control," and says that while the campaign is "self-interested ... at least it provides the kind of fiscally and medically responsible framework for discussion that has so far eluded legislators." Calling the lack of leadership in the state on managed care problematic, the Times calls on Gov. Gray Davis to "weigh in on the 68 managed care reform bills that have passed through at least one legislative committee this session." The Times says that Davis' "first priority should be a tough new state entity to protect managed care patients," which should then move to establish an independent appeals process. After that, Davis should "seek fiscally responsible ways to increase access to health care," such as supporting a strongly defined mental health parity measure that would extend coverage to six biologically based mental illnesses. Finally, the Times cautions Davis to be wary of "risky schemes like a recent proposal from state hospital and physician groups to expand the state's health insurance program for low-income children to cover adults as well," noting that the proposed funding source, "the state's share of the national tobacco settlement, is a rickety foundation for such a sweeping new entitlement" (5/5).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.