The Alliance for a Better California has gathered enough signatures to qualify its prescription drug initiative for the ballot, the group's leaders are telling reporters this afternoon. The measure would use the state's clout as a major purchaser to negotiate drug discounts for seniors, the poor and the chronically ill. The industry, meanwhile, is gathering signatures for a second, rival initiative that is identical to the governor's proposal now pending in the Legislature. Looks as if we are headed for a ballot battle between the two.
Posted by dweintraub at 5:15 PM
Steve Westly, who can still run for one more term as controller, opens a committee to run for governor in 2006.
Posted by dweintraub at 6:54 AM
California Medicine Man (John Ford) has some interesting thoughts on the role third-party payers play in driving up health care usage, and cost.
"Even nominal co-payments will discourage frivolous appointments. At one group I worked at, one of our managed care insurers unilaterally decided that their subscribers would have no co-payment for an office visit. They simply announced this on their television commercials without telling the medical groups. We were literally overwhelmed by patients requesting appointments (for largely ridiculous reasons). Utilization went way up."
Posted by dweintraub at 6:43 AM