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Health Reform Could Undercut California’s Consumer Protections

— California's Democratic delegation in the House is raising concerns that the federal health reform package could derail some of the state's consumer protection laws. The delegation has written a letter to congressional leaders.

The Senate health reform bill would allow insurers to form multi-state health care compacts and nationwide plans. These policies would only be subject to the laws in the state in which the policy is issued.

Jerry Flanagan is with the non-profit group Consumer Watchdog. He says California's patient protection laws could be undermined. For example, Flanagan says the state bans so-called drive-thru deliveries.

"Where insurance companies would have mothers who've just given birth leave the hospital immediately. In California, we told insurance companies that it's the doctors that get to decide, and most mothers stay in the hospital at least two days following a birth."

Under the Senate bill, states would have to "opt in" to the compacts.

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