Another day went by with Governor Schwarzenegger signing and vetoing various bills, but none of the patient protection measures related to health reform.
We did see full-page ads–we suspect funded by some insurers–in the Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times signed by the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB against the two bills to set up a health insurance exchange.
I understand why an insurer like Anthem Blue Cross might be opposed, not wanting an exchange that would have real bargaining power to negotiate with them for the best price and value for individual consumers and small business. Jon Cohn in The New Republic sees why as well, and thinks that is a good reason to support the bills.
But why the business groups? Some insurers are members of the Chamber of Commerce, but their position seems to counter the interests of the rest of their membership. After all, the exchange will give small businesses the purchasing clout that only large employers have now–and will be the place where small business can access tax credits to better afford coverage for their workers. Micah Weinberg of the New America Foundation has more, as he cites the support of employer groups from Small Business Majority and the Pacific Business Group on Health.
We have two days to find out what the Governor will do.