Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Assembly approves universal health care

Passage of bill seen as election-year test for Schwarzenegger
Lynda Gledhill
Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sacramento -- The Democratic-controlled Legislature is on the verge of sending Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a bill that would create a state-run universal health care system, testing him on an issue that voters rate as one of their top concerns in this election year.

On a largely party-line 43-30 vote, the Assembly approved a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system that would provide coverage to all Californians. The state Senate has already approved the plan once and is expected this week to approve changes that the Assembly made to the bill.

Schwarzenegger has said he opposes a single-payer plan like the one Kuehl's bill would create, but the governor has not offered his own alternatives for fixing the state's health care system. As many as 7 million people are uninsured in the state, and spiraling costs have put pressure on business and consumers.

"We know the health care in place today is teetering on collapse," said Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles. "We need to do something to improve it, to reform it, and this is what we are bringing to the table."

Schwarzenegger's office said it had no official position on the bill. The governor has said he would propose solutions to the state's health care crisis in his State of the State address next January if he is re-elected.

"I don't believe that government should be getting in there and should start running a health care system that is kind of done and worked on by government," Schwarzenegger said in July at a speech at the Commonwealth Club. "I think that what we should do is be a facilitator, to make the health care costs come down. The sad story in America is that our health care costs are too high, that everyone cannot afford health care."

more...


Doesn't Ahnuld sound truly sympathetic to the plight of the uninsured in that last paragraph?!

I think you should be a facilitator too. How long have you been governor of CA now? In all that time, why haven't you 'facilitated', Ahnuld?


Buck