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Governor's Health Care Proposal Continues to Draw Criticism

Patients’ rights advocates and labor unions complain the governor’s healthcare reform package will shift costs to consumers. But the governor’s secretary of Health and Human Services says that’s n

Governor's Health Care Proposal Continues to Draw Criticism

Patients’ rights advocates and labor unions complain the governor’s healthcare reform package will shift costs to consumers. But the governor’s secretary of Health and Human Services says that’s not the case. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

In a statewide conference call, Secretary Kim Belshe said the governor’s plan addresses a major cause of rising premiums. Belshe says the average family pays a 17 percent hidden tax on their health insurance policy. This tax helps pay for services to the uninsured.

The governor’s plan requires all Californians to have insurance. Belshe says consumers will no longer have to pay for people who don’t have coverage.

Belshe: So by eliminating this cost shift associated with the uninsured and underinsured, health plans will be able to work with health providers to leverage more affordable rates.

But critics say Belshe is wrong. Critics point out the governor’s plan still allows insurance companies to charge whatever they want.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.