Capitol Reacts to Budget, Reform Ruling

Health care issues took center stage in California for the past month — first, when budget pushback focused on health-related programs, and more recently, when the Supreme Court took a stand on legality of the federal health care reform law.

Here’s a taste of what California had to say about it all, culled from interviews, releases and a variety of media outlets:

“California has long been a leader and a champion for healthcare reform. … This landmark law will help us fix our broken healthcare system, control its skyrocketing costs and promote the health of all Californians.”

                — California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley

“For those of us in the faith community, health care reform has been about affirming the dignity of every person and the proper role of both individuals and government in safeguarding this dignity, through such means as providing access to basic health care. This decision strengthens the moral fabric of our nation by affirming these principles.”

                — Corey Timpson, Executive Director, PICO California

“The Supreme Court’s decision means that California will continue to pursue the shared goal of helping as many citizens as possible get health care coverage. … If we go beyond the already complex ACA — by piling on costly mandates, taxes, and regulations — we could create unintended consequences and risk increasing state costs, as well as adding to the cost of health coverage for California families and businesses. Health plans will continue to work with policymakers to improve affordability and choice for all Californians to ensure the stability of our health care system.”

                — Patrick Johnston, President and CEO, California Association of Health Plans

“If you prize the efficiency of the Department of Motor Vehicles, you will love health care under the Democrat law.”

                — U.S. Congressman Wally Herger, R-Chico

“The Court made the right decision in maintaining a national framework that helps millions of uninsured people access affordable health care. We do take exception with the Court’s reasoning … [and believe] the Act is constitutional under Congress’s Commerce Clause power in addition to its power to tax and that the Medicaid expansion should be upheld as written.”

                — Elizabeth Landsberg, Director of Legislative Advocacy, Western Center on Law and Poverty

“We should not confuse a clear view with a short distance. There is a lot of work to be done in California under an aggressive timeline. Luckily, our state has already taken significant steps forward.”

                — Marian Mulkey, director, California HealthCare Foundation’s Health Reform and Public Programs Initiative

“There’s a real good chance that we could put this to a vote of the people. … We’re just starting it up. But I believe you’re going to see thousands of doctors in California step up to the plate and say, ‘You know what? I can’t stay in the game unless this thing is revoked.’ “

                — Dan Logue, state Assembly member, R-Linda

“When this was a Republican idea, it was a great idea. Democrats proposed it, and all of a sudden it is unconstitutional. What the court upheld is Romneycare.”

                — Rick Hartley, a Democrat from Shingletown, quoted in the Redding Record Searchlight

“For California, a state already in more than financial distress, this represents a potential huge new financial burden. Californians cannot afford the government we have — there simply is no way for us to afford this new and massive expansion of government.”

                — Tom Del Beccaro, California Republican Party chairman

“Passage of the Coordinated Care Initiative marks an important step toward transforming California’s health care delivery system to better meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable residents who too often receive fragmented and uncoordinated care. Budget trailer bill legislation lays out a road map to integrate Medicare and Medi-Cal service delivery and financing so more Californians receive the right services, in the right place, at the right time. It will help people live longer in their homes and communities.”

                — Toby Douglas, Director, Department of Health Care Services

“The governor and legislative leaders have struck a short-sighted deal that unnecessarily puts the health of California children at risk.”

                — Wendy Lazarus, founder of The Children’s Partnership

“The gut reaction by many to making these severe cuts to the poor will be, ‘that’s not Governor Moonbeam, that’s not the governor I know.’ “

                — Melissa Michelson, political science professor, Menlo College, Atherton

“The governor and Legislature are experimenting with the health of 900,000 children. Shifting all of those children out of a popular, successful program, with no guarantee that they’ll actually have access to providers, is an unprecedented and reckless move.”

                — Peter Manzo, president and CEO, United Ways of California

“This budget is a slow-motion train wreck and you’re driving the bus.”

                — State Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto

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