San Jose Mercury News Looks at Issues Facing Incoming Insurance Commissioner
The San Jose Mercury News on Saturday examined the "plate full of problems" facing Insurance Commissioner-elect John Garamendi (D), including "skyrocketing" health insurance costs and the rising number of uninsured California residents. Garamendi, who headed the Department of Insurance in the 1990s and according to the Mercury News is "widely viewed" as a future gubernatorial candidate, said he will advocate strongly for universal health coverage but added he has not yet determined definitively how premiums would be paid or who should manage the coverage. Garamendi said that he has no plans of getting into a "turf scuffle" with the Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates HMOs, but wants his department to help review the health insurers' financial strength, the News reports. "Virtually the entire insurance system is upside down," Garamendi said, adding, "I am going to drive health care. ... This is a fundamental problem in society, and I'm going to go after it" (Lohse, San Jose Mercury News, 1/4).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.