More Protections Against Conflict of Interest Advocated in California
Government watchdog groups are calling for additional restrictions on California lawmakers' income from outside sources, noting that some lawmakers draw income from health insurers and other businesses affected by state legislation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For example, Sen. Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) is the owner and president of Integrated Benefits and Insurance Services, an insurance company.
Cox repeatedly has voted against legislation that would have created a state-run, single-payer health insurance system, which also was opposed by Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente.Â
The health insurers have paid at least $240,000 to Cox's company since 1999.
Assembly member Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) also owns an insurance agency and also voted against the single-payer bill.Â According to the Times, Anthem Blue Cross paid at least $10,000 to the Michael Duvall Agency last year.
Both Cox and Duvall have said that their income from insurance agencies did not influence their votes on the single-payer health care bill.
Assembly member Edward Hernandez (D-West Covina) and his wife are optometrists with private practices.Â This year, Hernandez voted for a bill that expanded the procedures that optometrist can perform (McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 11/28).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.