The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

The Potential California Health Care Reform Deal — Maybe

Posted by Alan on December 12, 2007

My last post mentioned rumors of a pending health care reform compromise among Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. A deal, according to these rumors, that was blessed by the California Labor Federation. The post also noted that the principals involved denied a deal was close.

Now comes blogger Randy Bayne with newsthat a vote on an amended version of Assembly Bill X1-1 “could come as early as next Monday or Tuesday, but will take place only if there is a deal in place ‘ready to be advanced.'” Unlike the earlier rumor, the pending deal described in Mr. Bayne’s post may not be acceptable to Labor. Supposedly the exemption to the requirement that all residents obtain coverage is out of the compromise bill. Yet when testifying before the Assembly Health Committee last month, that “affordability standard” was cited frequently as absolutely essential if the union and their allies were to support the legislation. Also eliminated from the compromise bill is any requirement that employers cover part-time employees — another item favored by Labor.

Of coure, even if the Assembly were to pass ABX1-1 next week, its fate in the Senate is uncertain. Mr. Bayne notes the bill would normally go first to the Senate Health Committee, chaired by Senator Sheila Keuhl. She has been vocally opposed to reforms that fall short of her Senate Bill 840, the single-payer legislation, even voting against Assembly Bill 8, the Democratic Leadership’s health care reform bill passed by the legislature and vetoed by the Governor during the regular legislative session. Mr. Bayne reports on speculation that ABX1-1 may be put “on a fast track using rules suspensions to bypass the Health Committee and ram it rhough to the Senate Floor.”

So the drama continues. Talks are clearly reaching the fish-or-cut-bait stage. For now, however, we’ve got more rumors than substance. 


One Response to “The Potential California Health Care Reform Deal — Maybe”

  1. It’s funny how people can make a categrical denial for us only to find something presented a short while after. This happens all the time where I live – especially true in the health sector where many of us worry about not only our responsibilities (in terms of clinical input) but even our jobs.

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