Rescission legislation vetoed

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the insurance bill didn't do enough to protect consumers. The California Medical Assn. said his veto leaves patients vulnerable.

By Emily Berry — Posted Oct. 26, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A bill that would have given patients the right to an independent review by the state before a health plan could rescind their coverage has failed to win the governor's signature. A similar bill met the same fate in 2008.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he opposes the practice of rescission. But this bill would have benefited trial attorneys, he said in his veto message Oct. 12.

"I remain comfortable sending this bill back for a second time without my signature because of the strong consumer protections the Dept. of Managed Health Care and Dept. of Insurance have successfully implemented over the past two years," the letter said.

California's major insurers have been fined millions of dollars by state regulators for improper rescissions. They have promised to take steps to stop the practice.

But for many, that's not sufficient assurance.

"With this veto, the governor told Californians that insurance company profits are more important than their access to health care when they get sick and treatment becomes costly," California Medical Assn. President Dev GnanaDev, MD, said in a statement.

Rescission also has been under scrutiny in Washington, D.C., where President Obama has spoken against the practice. In June, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held hearings on the issue, with testimony from executives from UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint and Assurant Health. Asked whether they would commit to stop rescinding coverage absent evidence of fraud, all declined.

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn