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California would set health service prices under new bill

A doctor's stethoscope left on a table via Flickr.
A doctor's stethoscope left on a table via Flickr.
Photo by Connor Tarter via Flickr Creative Commons

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A new bill seeks to rein in the soaring cost of care in California by putting the state in charge of setting prices. But it's not without controversy. The L.A. Times reports that backers are set to unveil more at a news conference Monday. 

Chad Terhune is a senior correspondent for California Healthline and Kaiser Health News. He says that, under the bill, negotiations would be conducted by a select group.

This bill kind of envisions a state commission, independent, probably drawn from various walks of life. They would convene and set these prices. Now, generally, how it works in Medicare, they look at everybody's cost of operating. It varies by geography. Some places might be higher cost, and they come up with what's an appropriate rate for an MRI test or a surgery. 

This would still be very controversial for the state of California to be getting into that business.