Southern California Medical Center is a special clinic in our Long Beach community that provides free or low-cost medical services to those who qualify. This is due to the fee that Medicare pays hospitals for medical services provided outside the hospital. The cost of medical services is one of the main reasons why people are uninsured or underinsured in California and across the nation. Initial versions of the proposal adopted a hardline stance to control the cost of medical goods and services, limiting prices even below current prices.
Insurance premiums through Covered California were also significantly higher in Northern California than in Southern California. The California Medical Association managed to exempt groups of doctors comprised of fewer than 25 doctors from the bill. To address each policy area, California might consider creating a health policy commission that examines the costs and quality of health care in a comprehensive manner, similar to the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission or the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner. The bill passed the Senate but was introduced in the Assembly because of its potential high cost and opposition from health plans and health care providers. Since California is committed to protecting the right to abortion, it lacks data that would help estimate how many women from other states could request services. Normal delivery (uncomplicated vaginal delivery) is the most common type of hospital admission; since services vary little from place to place and require limited technology, it is relatively easy to compare them between states and areas of California.
Research by the Petris Center at the University of California at Berkeley shows that prices for the same health services vary widely by region of California, and this variation is related to the level of consolidation of health care markets in each region. California pays much more for common health care services than other parts of the country, and this gap has been widening. In established markets, a small number of hospital systems, medical groups, or insurance companies have a large market share.