California Gov. Gray Davis Moves to Block Two HIV/AIDS Measures, Criticized by Democrats
California Gov. Gray Davis (D) has drawn the ire of Democrats in the General Assembly by "joining" the managed care industry in opposing several bills favored by physicians, including two related to HIV/AIDS treatment, the Los Angeles Times reports. The state's legislative session is nearing an end, and a conference committee of Senate and Assembly members established to "meld a health care proposal with several bills pending in the Legislature" will hold its first meeting today. The state Department of Managed Health Care, the agency responsible for overseeing managed care organizations, has in recent days "moved to block" several of the bills, generally saying that they would "interfere with private contractual relationships" between doctors and health plans. One of the bills would increase doctors' compensation for treating HIV/AIDS patients and another would require insurers to pay for "high-cost medications," including HIV/AIDS drugs. According to Assembly member Keith Richman (R), author of the latter bill and a physician, doctors "simply cannot afford medication for severely ill patients" (Morain, Los Angeles Times, 9/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.