VSP chief praises California business climate

02/14/2013 12:00 AM

04/02/2013 11:40 AM

A few months ago, the CEO of Rancho Cordova insurer Vision Service Plan was so angry at California officials, he put hundreds of new jobs on hold and made vague threats about leaving the state.

Now Rob Lynch is defending California's honor against Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Following Perry's high-profile California tour, in which he bashed the state and tried to poach businesses, Lynch issued a statement Wednesday praising California's "open business climate."

The statement was released through the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. The Governor's Office had asked Lynch to comment, said VSP spokeswoman Melissa Warren.

Lynch noted that VSP is adding hundreds of jobs in California.

VSP put that hiring on hold last fall, when it got into a fight with the California Health Benefit Exchange, which is setting up the state's online insurance market.

The agency had issued tentative rules that excluded stand-alone vision insurers like VSP from big slices of the market. Lynch wrote an op-ed piece that said, "Maybe it's time for us to choose to go where we are wanted."

A slew of elected officials came to VSP's defense, noting the company employs 2,100 workers in the area. The agency backed down and rewrote the rules to VSP's liking.

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