Gov Schwarzenegger signs health care bill

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Gov Schwarzenegger signs health care bill

The governor signed a bill on Thursday that will establish a web-based insurance exchange that will allow consumers to comparison shop for health insurance coverage.  This legislation makes California the first state to implement an oversight board for insurance exchange marketplaces since the federal health care laws were approved.

“For national reform to succeed, it will be up to the states to make it work, and California is moving forward on reforms that will provide affordable and quality health care insurance,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

The two bills, SB900 and AB1602 are said to promote competition in the health insurance marketplace, according to Assembly speaker John Perez of Los Angeles.

Edwin Garcia, a spokesman for Kaiser Permanente, called the exchange “a promising and important part of health care reform” that would make coverage more affordable for millions of low- and middle-income Californians and small business owners. Kaiser insures about 6.5 million people in the state, Garcia said.

The exchange is said to be active by 2014.