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Republican Sen. Aanestad Puts Forward Market-Based Plan To Rework Health Care in California

Echoing their national counterparts in Washington, D.C., who vow not to let the Republican Party become the “party of no” when it comes to health care reform, California Republicans now have a proposal of their own. Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) this month introduced legislation he said will increase access to affordable, quality health care.

A California Healthline Special Report by Pat McConahay includes comments from:

  • John Graham, director of health care studies for the Pacific Research Institute; 
  • Linda Halderman, senior policy adviser for Sen. Aanestad;
  • Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento); and
  • Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access.

Aanestad’s bill, SB 92, contains a number of market-oriented provisions, including a plan to exempt contributions to health savings accounts from state income taxes.

Halderman, a general surgeon and Aanestad’s senior policy adviser on health care, said, “The proposals from the Republicans tend to favor letting patients and their families make decisions with the doctors they choose rather than increasing the intervention from government or from third-party payers like health insurance” (McConahay, California Healthline, 3/18).

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