Republican Plan Pushes Health Care Access, Not Universal Coverage
Republican leaders on Tuesday will introduce a health care reform plan focused on expanding access to health care services and encouraging businesses to offer health insurance coverage, the Orange County Register reports. Unlike plans by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and the Democratic leadership of the Senate and Assembly, Republican senators' proposal does not seek to provide coverage to California's uninsured population of 6.5 million.
The plan calls for using tax credits and other incentives to encourage businesses to offer health care benefits to workers and physicians to participate in Medi-Cal. Republicans also hope to propel construction of new community clinics to help reduce the number of patients seeking care at hospital emergency departments.
Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine) said the proposal reflects Republicans' belief that the state should not provide health insurance to:
- Undocumented immigrants;
- State residents already eligible for assistance programs; and
- People who can afford health coverage but opt not to buy it.