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home / healthcare / press releases

Oct 22, 2003

CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan - 415-497-1710

Schwarzenegger Appoints HMO Lobbyist To Cabinet

FTCR Says Appointment Shows Gov-Elect Turns Deaf Ear To Patient Rights
Santa Monica -- Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today the appointment of Health Net lobbyist Patricia Clarey as his chief of staff. The non-profit, non-partisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) criticized the appointment, saying HMO lobbyists should not be part of an administration that pledged to govern for the people, not for special interests, and particularly not "an HMO lobbyist whose job it is to put profits before patient care."

"Schwarzenegger's appointment clearly shows that the governor-elect has no intention of protecting consumer rights when he takes over the state Capitol. Worse, it's a clear violation of a pledge he made to the voters while running for office to stand up to special interests in Sacramento. The state's HMOs have a long track record of putting profits before patients and should not be put in charge of the governor's office," said FTCR's Jerry Flanagan.

FTCR cited a decade's worth of experience in California with HMOs denying basic patient rights. For instance, they noted that the state's HMOs, including Health Net, have long put profits ahead of patient care by denying medically necessary care and overriding physician recommendations.

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