The California Assembly has approved a bill to toughen the state's power to fine insurers for failing to pay medical bills. The issue is whether the state needs extra legal powers to penalize health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations that are found to regularly underpay their bills to doctors, radiologists, anesthesiologists and other specialists. Assemblyman Jared Huffman said his bill was needed to put "teeth into our state's healthcare watchdog." But the measure now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is under pressure from HMOs and his own regulators to issue a veto.