Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told health insurers, “I need you,” Friday at the industry’s convention in Las Vegas.
Noteably, he said he wouldn’t support a system where insurers would “go away” — a not-so-veiled reference to SB840 (Kuehl), the Legislature’s universal, single-payer legislation.
Another thing Arnold said that irks health advocates:
“My plan also reforms some of the state’s regulation that now stand in the way of your industry being able to offer lower-cost products to employers and individuals.”
The Translation: Let’s get rid of “pesky mandates” like mammograms and other cancer screenings, preventive care for children, treatment of osteoporosis. If we don’t cover health care, health coverage will be cheaper.
The guv also said that while he didn’t support “artificial means” to bring down costs, he believes plans need to play a role in being “efficient, cost-effective, and focused on quality.” This emphasis on efficiency and quality — and insurers reponsibility to assure that — goes further than what the guv said in January when he unveiled his health reform plan.
Lastly, the guv praised a number of health plans EXCEPT Blue Cross, who are “on board” with his notion that people shouldn’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Blue Cross has put $2 million so far into defeating health reform efforts in the state — which obviously is annoying the gov.
Watch his remarks and read the transcript here.