Governor rejects lesser-known health reform bills |

Governor rejects lesser-known health reform bills

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a handful of health care bills Wednesday but has yet to take action on major legislation aimed at readying the state for federal health care reform.

The governor rejected seven measures mainly aimed at expanding the range of services covered by health plans and placing more scrutiny on insurance rate changes.

One bill, AB2042, would have limited fee hikes to once per calendar year.

Another, AB1600, would have required most health plans to cover the diagnoses and treatment of mental illness, while a third, AB113, would have done the same for mammograms.

In his veto messages, Schwarzenegger said some of the bills were unnecessary because of existing state laws or federal legislation due to take effect in 2014. Some of the other bills would contribute to skyrocketing health care costs, he said.

The Republican governor did sign one health care measure Wednesday. AB1503 will require physicians who provide emergency services in hospitals to provide discounts to uninsured patients or very low-income individuals with high medical costs.

Nearly a dozen closely watched health care reform measures remain on Schwarzenegger’s desk, including two bills setting up a web-based health insurance exchange and a bill allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26.

Thursday is the deadline for the governor to sign or veto all remaining bills.

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