Thursday, July 30, 2009

CIRM Adds Info on Possible Endorsement of Public Insurance Option

The California stem cell agency has posted a host of wide-ranging links to documents dealing with the public health insurance option that it will consider endorsing at its Legislative Subcommittee meeting next Thursday.

They range from Wall Street Journal and New York Times articles to pieces in support and against the plan, which is being considered by Congress as part of the national health care reform legislation.

The posting of the documents well ahead of the meeting is another instance of giving both the public and CIRM ample time to consider the issues involved.

However, the background material does not address several questions that CIRM directors should consider. Is this sort of broad national issue something that CIRM should be chasing? If so, how many votes can CIRM deliver for or against the plan? The latter may be the most important question in the real world of politics. Third, is this something that CIRM's high-flying federal lobbyist, the Podesta Group, can weigh in on appropriately? It has several other clients that have a major stake in the legislation. And those clients may have interests at odds with whatever position CIRM chooses to take.

If you would like to take part in the CIRM debate over the plan, you can do so via teleconference locations throughout the state. They include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Healdsburg, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Irvine, La Jolla and Sacramento. The specific addresses can be found on the agenda.

You can also weigh with comments on this Web site. Just click on the term "comments" below. Anonymous postings are permitted.

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