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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Understanding Health Care Reform -Consumer Advocate Report

Click on this link for a good presentation of changes that will affect the American Consumer.

AB 1602 abd SB 900 California Exchanges-Hurtful to Califonians or Helpful?

"Much has been written about how signing AB 1602 and SB 900 could be an an important part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s his legacy. Much has been written about how vetoing the exchange bills would reflect far better on the Governor’s service. Given his desire to fix what he frequently called “California’s broken health care system” the Governor no doubt would like to sign the legislation. And there’s nothing inherently wrong in giving the exchange board the ability to negotiate with carriers on behalf of those enrolling for coverage through the exchange. But those powers must be delegated in an appropriate way with an eye enhancing choice and innovation. AB 1602 and SB 900 fail to accomplish this.
All states need to be moving forward with creating their exchanges soon. It will take time to establish these operations, staff them and get them ready for business. However, lawmakers should also take the time necessary to get the legislation right. California lawmakers, in accepting last minute changes without public hearings, failed to do so. Starting over in January will still give them plenty of time to develop an exchange for the nation’s largest state that not only accomplishes the goals of such exchanges, but does so in a way that will nurture innovation over time." -Alan Katz Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Taylor-D Miss.- signs bill to repeal Healthcare Reform

According to Politico (9/16, Sherman), Taylor, who is a Blue Dog Democrat, "underscores how unpopular the legislation is in some conservative districts held by Democrats -- although he voted against the bill. Taylor, though, has bucked trends for years, holding onto the Gulf Coast seat since 1989." The Hill (9/16, Lillis) also reports the story in its Healthwatch blog.
Dems Who Voted Against Healthcare Law Escape Retribution. Politico (9/15, Isenstadt) reports, "After 34 House Democrats voted against the health care bill in March, liberal groups and their allies in the labor movement vowed to exact revenge. The threats ranged from crippling primary election challenges to a withdrawal of support for some of the offending lawmakers," and "in a few cases, activists even went so far as to say they would run third-party candidates against the Democrats in November." But, Politico notes that "five months later, the group of 34 has emerged from primary season not much worse for the wear. Every one of the 30 lawmakers who voted against the health care bill and is seeking another term won re-nomination."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

California and Healthcare Reform

Sacramento Bee: Schwarzenegger Should Sign Bills To Create California Insurance Exchange.

The Sacramento Bee (9/9, 16A) editorialized, "When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns Sept. 15 from a six-day trade mission in Asia, he'll have 700 or so bills to sign or veto," which is "why, before he leaves today, he should sign two bills laying the groundwork for California's health insurance exchange -- the major piece of the national health reform legislation signed by President Barack Obama on March 23." The Bee added, "Under the two bills passed by the Legislature, Californians would get standardized information about insurance they can make informed choices." The paper concluded, "Many Californians would be eligible, based on their income, for a federal premium subsidy to help them purchase coverage through the health benefits exchange," and "California should not leave those federal dollars on the table."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Healthcare Reform Opponents are Heard Today In Florida Hearing-May Set Tone For Us All

Healthcare Reform Opponents Pin Hopes On Florida Hearing.

The Los Angeles Times (9/13, Savage) reports, "The conservative counterattack on President Obama's overhaul of health insurance will take center stage in the courts this week when Republican state attorneys general and a leading small-business group urge a federal judge in Florida to strike down the law before it can take effect. They contend Congress does not have the power under the Constitution to require all Americans to have health insurance." Initially, the lawsuit appeared "to be a long shot," and "legal experts on the left and right said that, since the late 1930s, the Supreme Court has said Congress has broad power to regulate all aspects of the economy." Yet, "on the eve of the court hearing in Florida, some defenders of the law acknowledge that they are less confident that a judge will toss out the lawsuit entirely."
The Wall Street Journal (9/13, Jones, subscription required) reports that the Florida suit against the healthcare law was filed by two Washington, DC attorneys, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, and although it is only one of several such lawsuits, the case has garnered much attention because it was filed on behalf of 20 state AGs and other groups. These attorneys argue that the law is unconstitutional, and that the government has overstepped its authority in attempting to compel individuals to purchase health insurance. Some legal experts, however, contend that the states lack standing, and that the suit will be thrown out.