In announcing his proposal for health care reform, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger decried the hidden tax that unpaid medical bills impose on providers and consumers alike. The Governor's proposal places new expectations on every constituency in the health care system—individuals, insurers, employers, doctors, and hospitals—in an attempt to rebalance it for the benefit of the collective. Besides discussing the methods outlined in the proposal for providing universal health insurance coverage to Californians, this presentation will examine the initiatives in the plan that signal support for broader reform of how health care is delivered and a healthy population achieved. Among these initiatives are: promotion of health information technology; development of innovative financing mechanisms for technology adoption; linkage of provider payments to performance targets; cost containment through the expanded scope of practice rules for certain providers; reduction of medical errors and hospital-acquired infections; campaigns against obesity and tobacco use; and other wellness incentives.
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