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ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL FOR OB-GYN ACCESS.

Byline: Mary Lynne Vellinga The Sacramento Bee

One of the first managed health care reform bills of the year headed to Gov. Pete Wilson's desk Monday when the Assembly overwhelmingly passed a measure allowing women to make appointments with gynecologists directly instead of first getting clearance from a primary doctor.

Wilson vetoed identical legislation last year; this year, he is expected to sign it.

The bill, AB 12 by Assemblywoman Susan Davis, D-San Diego, received 70 yes votes and only three no votes, all cast by Southern California Republicans.

``Clearly this is one HMO reform issue where California women, the Legislature and the governor can concur,'' Davis said.

Added Assemblyman Rod Pacheco, a Riverside Republican, ``My wife has revealed to me on a number of occasions that I'd better not come home if I don't vote for this bill.''

John Mahnke, past president of the California Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which supports the legislation, said that ``women want direct access to a physician who is best trained to care for the majority of their health needs.''

If Wilson signs the bill, which HMO reform advocates described as modest, California will join 15 other states in giving women direct access to gynecologists and obstetricians.

Last year, the governor vetoed all but one of the HMO reforms that reached his desk, saying he didn't want ``piecemeal'' reform.

But a Wilson-appointed task force has since reported back with numerous reform recommendations, including giving women direct access to ob-gyn doctors.

Wilson spokeswoman Lisa Kalustian said Monday that direct access is ``absolutely a concept the governor has supported.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 31, 1998
Words:264
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