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Health Care Reform Making Gains; Advocates Want More

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Aired 4/19/09

Consumer advocates say with the recent approval of a number of cost-saving measures, it’s been a good year for health care reform in California. But advocates say the biggest prize, universal health care, remains elusive. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Governor Schwarzenegger has approved a measure that will allow the state to negotiate drug discounts for low-income residents. And he signed a bill that will prevent hospitals from charging the uninsured more than what insured patients pay for the same service.

 Anthony Wright directs the advocacy group Health Access. He says those measures are important, but don’t address a fundamental issue. 

Wright: They still don’t actually give people free care, it’s just getting a fair price. You know, the real solution is to get people insured so they get the care before hand rather than afterwards, and that’s something that we still need to work on.

The governor vetoed a measure that promised universal health care for Californians, saying it would be too impractical. Democratic lawmakers say they’ll try again next year.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.  

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