Policy: The California Plan
If you've been listening to NPR, reading the NYT or the WSJ - you've been inundated with information about California's new health initiative.
In short, the plan would (WSJ, January 9):
1) Mandate coverage for all Californians,
2) Employers with more than 10 workers who don't provide medical coverage would pay 4% of their payroll into a state fund to offset costs to the State,
3) The plan would levy a tax of 2% on doctors and 4% on hospitals to further fund the State's insurance plan.
The only problem is we still don't know how much the program will cost, how they will cover the large number of illegal immigrants in the region, and how - exactly - this will ensure costs are contained over the long run. Given the major supporter of the program is Blue Cross of California...who called the plan "bold and visionary"...I think it's fair to say that insurers plan to do pretty well in the deal...unlike the providers being asked to foot part of the bill.
So who's got a reasonable plan underway?
I still think Tennessee may lead the pack (with the Governor a former Health Plan Exec)...and Vermont as a sleeper pick. Any others out there?
I'm still looking for a plan that deals with controlling costs and helping insure the uninsured...