As election day nears, actions by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on health care bills are drawing greater attention from some voters, likely including the 4% of respondents to a Public Policy Institute of California survey this month who said health care should be the top priority for the state. Schwarzenegger's vetoes of legislation to create a state-run, single-payer health care system and expand eligibility for some public insurance programs for children drew media attention this week, as did his signing of legislation to create a prescription drug discount program.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides' positions on health care also have received some press this week, perhaps most notably his proposal to limit spending on administration and overhead to 10% of HMOs' revenue and support of universal health care. However, media accounts also took note of Angelides' declining to take a position on the single-payer measure that the governor vetoed last month.
Looking beyond election politics, the California Medical Board's Web site was among the top 10 in a nationwide ranking released last week by Public Citizen's Health Research Group. Schwarzenegger last month signed legislation that will expand the information -- physicians' foreign language skills -- that the medical board is required to publish on its Web site to help the state assess whether some areas are underserved by physicians with needed foreign language-skills and cultural competencies.
This week's Legislative Update highlights news on the campaign related to Proposition 85, a measure on the Nov. 7 statewide ballot that would require unmarried minors to notify a parent or guardian before having an abortion.