Insurance agents in California urged lawmakers to make the fixes that will be necessary to achieve the goal of affordable health care coverage for all Californians, as the State Senate is preparing to consider the compromise health care reform proposal.

In a letter to Senate president pro tem Don Perata and others, the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-California (NAIFA-California) encouraged Senators to take the time to get the reforms right.

The agent organizations identified several specific changes that are needed. One is a provision in the bill that segregates Californians who receive premium assistance in the form of tax credits into a state-run health insurance purchasing pool. The agents also urged Senators to define the minimum health coverage all Californians must obtain.

The agents expressed concern that the funding sources identified in the compromise health care reform proposal, specifically an employer tax on payroll, will fail to keep up with state spending obligations for health care.

Neil Crosby, president of CAHU, and Dennis Sunderman, president of NAIFA-California, said: The bill before the State Senate is complicated and complex. Comprehensive health care reform is too important, and the stakes for Californians are too high, to push this legislation through without needed changes.