Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Ezra Klein blogs about California's recent health reform measure. He states,
Potentially big news out of California . . . . where the Assembly has passed the first piece of a massive health care expansion. Passage in the Senate will be a bit trickier, and the funding component isn't even in the legislation, and is instead being offered as a ballot measure a few months down the road. So there are many hurdles left to leap.
Still: It would be a big deal to have the Golden State pass universal health reform. Schwarzenegger's bill is, in many ways, similar to Clinton and Edwards' plans -- and in certain ways it goes further. It forces insurers to offer insurance at standard rates rather than discriminating based on preexisting conditions; imposes an individual mandate to ensure broad buy-in; and offers heavy subsidies up to 250 percent of the poverty line and limits health spending to 5.5% of income for those making between 250 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line. It puts a sliding scale tax on businesses, a small tax on hospitals, and a $1.50 on cigarettes. It allows the state to purchase pharmaceuticals as a whole in order to negotiate better prices. . . .