Republican Senator Critical of Health Reform Debate
Passing health care reform legislation during the special session would help boost voters' perception of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and state lawmakers, but it "would be a terrible mistake ... to pass a flawed and half-baked proposal just to say something -- anything -- was done this year," Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Temecula) writes in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece.
AB 8, a health care reform bill by Democratic legislative leaders, "offers no remedy for the core problems vexing the state's health care system," according to Hollingsworth. "It would throw a lot of money -- someone else's, naturally -- at the issue, without reducing costs or improving the quality of care or access to it," Hollingsworth writes, adding, "Thankfully, the governor has vowed to veto the bill -- albeit for the wrong reasons."
Hollingsworth faults Democratic legislative leaders for not considering a health care overhaul plan by Senate Republicans that he maintains "actually would address some of the issues driving cost increases in the present system."
"Unfortunately, neither Democrats nor the governor have paid these modest proposals much heed," Hollingsworth writes, adding that Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) "even has the gall to appoint only Democrat[ic] legislators to his recently announced health care reform working group."
"Instead of taking a realistic step forward and establishing some common ground, they appear determined to push through radical action as a last-ditch attempt to demonstrate progress," Hollingsworth writes (Hollingsworth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/28).