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Californians Engaging in the Health Care Debate

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

The U.S. senate's version of pending healthcare legislation has met a significant foe in the least likely state to voice such opposition: California.

Known for its liberal politics, these dissenting views come not from the state's two senators. Senator Barbara Boxer, currently pursuing a 2010 reelection bid, has already declared her support for the bill. Senator Diane Feinstein, on the other hand, has yet to take a stance on the measure.

Disapproval comes from the California Medical Association, the country's largest medical group behind Texas. It represents over 35,000 physicians.

California joins medical associations in Texas, Florida, and Georgia in coming out against the Senate bill. These doctors' refusal to support the current bill demonstrates that the health care debate is picking up steam from more than just tea party conservatives.

Furthermore, the issue is not only fodder for supporters on far ends of the political spectrum. Despite repeated news coverage of boisterous town hall meetings and presidential photo ops with white coated physicians, there are some in the medical community who beg to differ with the matter

Dr. Dev GnanaDev, who serves on the California association's executive committee, says that his fellow doctors firmly support healthcare reform of some type. The Senate bill, however, "falls short" of that main goal.

The bill runs into major flaws in addressing remedies to Medicare, they say. Aside from reducing funding to urban areas as well as future reimbursements, these doctors have a legitimate concern for Medicare that stands out like a needle in a hay stack.

The Senate plan creates an independent Medicare commission, giving birth to yet another bureaucratic and delocalized government agency.

In the U.S. senate's deciding the fate of healthcare reform, shouldn't they take into account how it will affect the nation's most populous states, one of them being California?

Who can comprehend the healthcare situation of populous states like California other than the medical associations residing within these states?

If California's two senators discern a health care overhaul to be absolutely essential, it would serve their political careers well if they seriously took into account the California Medical Association's concerns.

No one knows the situation of a patient better than his or her doctor. If California's senators keep this in mind and seek to integrate these concerns into the final senate bill, then perhaps the healthcare overhaul will be less of a mess.

Perhaps healthcare legislation would be more efficient even if its being implemented from the federal level.

Furthermore, in Feinstein and Boxer's consideration of the California Medical Association's concerns, they would demonstrate to independent voters the willingness implement other points of view into final healthcare legislation.

In doing so, they might depart from the ideology of party colleagues in Washington. At the same time, they would serve the nobler cause of considering the needs of their constituents.

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