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Hospitals Agree to Pay Fees in Exchange for More Income, but Consumers in the Dark About What They'll be Charged Under Nunez Plan
Date:9/6/2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today that the Sacramento health reform debate has focused too much on what hospitals will pay in fees for access to more patients, rather than what reform efforts will cost consumers.

Yesterday, FTCR sent a letter to legislative leaders urging answers to the question of whether there will be any limits placed on how much individuals and employees will pay for the coverage they are required to buy. Read FTCR's letter at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/pr/?postId=8467.

As written, Nunez's bill, AB 8, and a companion measure, AB 2, will require employees to pay an unspecified amount for an insurance policy. Nunez has stated in press reports that he may be willing to support a state law requiring that all Californians buy coverage from private companies without limits on price or guarantees on benefits.

FTCR said the fundamental flaw in the debate is focusing on the medical-insurance complex's interests without no attention to how much consumers and workers will be forced to pay for coverage and what that coverage will provide. The fees on hospitals will be more than offset by increased government payments for providing coverage to the uninsured. Yet employees making over 300% of the poverty level will be forced to pay, under Nunez's plan, up to 5% of their income for a health insurance policy, and possibly many thousands of dollars more in high deductibles and co-pays.

FTCR is California's leading public interest watchdog. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.


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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights
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