California bill would create health care price controls

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s government would set prices for health care services under a measure in the state Assembly.

The bill introduced Monday comes amid a fierce debate in the Capitol about rising health care costs. It’s likely to draw intense opposition from physicians, hospitals and other health care providers.

The measure by Democratic Assemblyman Ash Kalra of San Jose would affect private health plans, including those offered by employers and purchased by individuals. Prices would be set by an independent commission.

The measure is backed by several influential unions frustrated that health care costs are gobbling an increasing share of compensation.

Health care providers have long argued that price controls would encourage doctors to move out of state or retire, making it harder for people to see a physician when they’re sick.

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