Obstacles To Health Care Reform Still Surfacing
As the Assembly moves closer to a vote on a health care reform plan, policy watchers and health care stakeholders continue to raise questions about the plan and wonder aloud about its chances for ever taking effect.
Assembly Republicans would have missed a vote originally scheduled for next week altogether because of a conflict with the annual policy retreat for Republican lawmakers. That vote has since been cancelled.
Republicans lack the numbers in either chamber to block a deal between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Democratic legislators. Still, their opposition to the plan means that it will be necessary to have voters weigh in on a ballot measure that would determine how the plan is funded.
A Democratic strategist this week predicted that it could be difficult for such a measure to win support from voters in November 2008, the majority of whom already have insurance and are wary about changes to existing benefits.
Meanwhile, California's public hospitals are taking issue with provisions of the health care reform plan that they say could cause a drop in federal funding for hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured patients. Hospitals are concerned that a reimbursement hike for Medi-Cal won't be enough to make up that loss.
While lawmakers work out the outstanding details of a health care reform plan, here's a look at how legislation involving health information technology and privacy issues fared in 2007.