As the political murk clears, we find ...

John Taylor: April 24, 20070 Comments

All the promises, confused comments and best intentions are now being put into legalese as hearings intensify on health care reform legislation in Sacramento. April 27 is the deadline for lawmakers to complete work on bills that have fiscal impact -- they can push them ahead, vote them down or shelve them.

Here are the current key reform bills (nothing as yet from Gov. Schwarzenegger): SB 840, from Sen. Sheila Kuehl; SB 236, from Sen. George Runner; SB 48, from Sen. Don Perata; and AB 8, from Assembly Member Fabian Nunez.

Here are a couple of ways to follow developments. You can follow the bills, step by step (with a modest time delay), via the state legislative web site at: 

And, in a more reader friendly though not necessarily as timely way, via this site from the California HealthCare Foundation: 

Other health-care sniglets:

  • Despite Botox, Viagra and Lipitor, it looks like Baby Boomers will be the first generation to head into retirement in worse health than their parents, according to research reported in the Washington Post.

  • There's no way to stem the growing shortage of certified geriatricians in time to accommodate the Boomers, the Wall Street Journal reported, with medical educators suggesting instead that the existing geriatricians train primary care docs and nurses to handle the multiple health issues of aging.

  • The average 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need to have $215,000 to meet health care costs for their remaining years, excluding the costs of over-the-counter meds, dental and long-term care, according to research by Fidelity Investments reported by the Associated Press. That estimate is 7.5% higher than in 2006.

On a happy note, President Bush is proposing extra money for a fund designed to clean up toxic leaks from subterranean gasoline tanks -- that fund is called the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, known by the acronym LUST.