Long Beach : Health Care Concept Backed

The Long Beach City Council has given its backing to the concept of affordable quality health care for everyone in California, but it did not specifically support a controversial health care bill before the Legislature.

Rather than endorse the bill, as requested by the Long Beach Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, the council this week supported the concept "as long as it is actuarially sound with cost-control measures."

Assembly Bill 2020 would provide a full range of medical services to all Californians, regardless of age or the state of their health. If adopted, it could cost Long Beach between $3 million and $12.1 million annually, according to City Manager James C. Hankla.

The cost of the proposal was cited repeatedly by council members who said the plan does not appear economically feasible.

"I think what we're doing here is nothing more than shrugging our shoulders and saying that would be nice," Councilman Ray Grabinski told his colleagues.

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