MEDICARE HMOS: Editorial Blasts Bill to Tie in CalPERS
An editorial in yesterday's Sacramento Bee argues against a bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco), which would require HMOs maintaining contracts with any state program, such as Medi-Cal or CalPERS, to offer Medicare coverage in the same county. Noting that CalPERS has no HMO affiliate in 10 rural areas, the Bee states that the problem is "CalPERS is already struggling to maintain access to HMOs in rural counties. Speier's bill would make this worse." The editorial argues that with HMOs struggling to reach terms with providers, and federal Medicare HMO reimbursements on the downswing, seniors are "[s]tuck in the middle." The Bee concludes, "While elderly patients deserve access to the HMOs, the HMOs deserve a rational federal payment system." SB 169 is a "Band-Aid approach that may make the symptoms worse" (6/22).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.