Angelides Vows to Reduce Asthma-Related Hospitalizations
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides on Thursday said if elected governor, he would enact policies to reduce by half -- or 80,000 -- the number of hospital visits made by children with asthma, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Garcia, San Jose Mercury News, 7/28).
Angelides, speaking at campaign stops in Fresno, Merced, Atwater, Modesto and Stockton, pledged to adopt stricter air-quality standards, expand health coverage to all children in the state, and increase funding for asthma research and prevention, among other measures (Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 7/28).
According to Angelides, there are 160,000 asthma-related hospital visits by children annually, costing the state $1.3 billion per year (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 7/28).
Angelides did not provide cost estimates for the proposals but said some would be funded by Proposition 86, the tobacco tax measure on the November ballot (San Jose Mercury News, 7/28). The Stockton Record reports that Angelides also would fund the proposals through $5 billion in tax increases on businesses and high-income Californians (Shaw, Stockton Record, 7/28).
Angelides also discussed his support for a health insurance mandate for large companies and allowing consumers to purchase medications from Canada (Ashton, Modesto Bee, 7/28).
Aides for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), criticized Angelides' proposals, saying tax increases would be closer to $10 billion to fund the programs, according to the Record (Stockton Record, 7/28).