Legislators Kick Off Hearings on Health Reform Proposals
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) health care reform proposal survived a potential showdown with Republicans on Sunday at the California Republican Party Convention in Sacramento, but the plan came under more scrutiny Thursday when Senate Health Committee Chair Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) convened what is almost certain to be the first of many hearings this year on overhauling California's health care system.
Kuehl herself continues to champion a state-run, single-payer health insurance system in California but said she could support aspects of the governor's plan. "So far, I think the emperor has some clothes but not a full wardrobe," she said of Schwarzenegger's proposal.
The governor's overhaul plan has encountered limited organized opposition so far, but some stakeholders say groups that now are united behind the plan could fall off the bandwagon once detailed legislation is drafted and debated. They expect that to happen by April.
In the meantime, California legislators this week took up health care-related bills addressing Medi-Cal reimbursement for school health centers, telemedicine services for people with chronic illnesses and other issues.