CA health plans respond to Gov's proposal

California's health plans are responding to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's universal health coverage proposal unveiled earlier this month. The plans, which include Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, recognize the need for change in the healthcare system and have expressed a desire to enroll more people in their plans. But suggestions often differ from Schwarzenegger's. For instance, the health plans advocate taxes on cigarettes and service charges on patients every time they visit a doctor. No surprises here: capping insurance premiums isn't on their list of suggestions.

California's health plans also pointed out a need for individual mandates to purchase health insurance--a measure that will be fought by consumer groups. "Health plans say they can't support the governor's proposal that they cover everyone without a guarantee that coverage would be mandatory. Without a strong individual mandate, plan executives say, people would have no incentive to buy insurance until they got sick--creating a risk pool dominated by the sick that would be doomed to fail," notes the L.A. Times. California's insurers are just one of many interest groups Schwarzenegger has to please in order to make his universal health proposal work.

For more:
- read this L.A. Times article