Options for County Health Care Plan Weighed
Financing and opposition from some think tanks are among the considerations for an expected proposal to create a plan to expand health care access in San Mateo County, the Oakland Tribune reports (Ernde, Oakland Tribune, 7/4).
San Mateo County supervisors on Monday voted to spend $200,000 to study whether the county could implement a universal health access plan similar to a plan by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D). The San Francisco plan would expand health care access to the city's 82,000 uninsured residents and cost an estimated $200 million annually. Those who enroll in the plan would pay premiums and copayments on a sliding scale based on their income (California Healthline, 6/27).
According to the Tribune, San Mateo County's plan could involve health care districts with taxation power in the county, as well as private hospitals that are members of the Hospital Consortium of San Mateo County. The Tribune also reports that the plan could be an outgrowth of the county Healthy Kids program, which provides health insurance to children who are ineligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families, and that the Health Plan San Mateo might be charged with administering the new program (Oakland Tribune, 7/4).
The San Francisco proposal by Newsom "may not be perfect," but "unlike President Bush and Gov. [Arnold] Schwarzenegger" (R) he is "demonstrating that there are still politicians with the courage and creativity to address the health care crisis," a San Jose Mercury News editorial states. "Bush and Schwarzenegger continue to essentially ignore the fact that nearly 20% of their respective constituents have no health care insurance," the editorial states, concluding, "Just a hunch, but here's a bet Newsom is the first of the three to arrive at a working solution" (San Jose Mercury News, 7/5).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.