Governor Against Tax Increase To Fund Reform Plan
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday said that he disagrees with raising taxes to help fund a health care reform plan and that he wants to "bring some sanity to the [health care] system and insure everyone," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The governor - speaking at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles - cited a study released Monday by the New American Foundation that shows the average family of four in California with private insurance pays $1,186 more in premiums to subsidize care for the uninsured (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/19).
"The hidden taxes we are being punished with are unfair to the individual," Schwarzenegger said, adding, "Those things will slowly go away if we have a new system."
Schwarzenegger did not indicate what options he is considering for a reform plan. Administration officials said that the governor favors a "shared responsibility" formula that requires contributions from multiple parties to help finance a plan.
The governor on Jan. 9 plans to unveil his reform proposal during his State of the State address (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 12/19).
"One of the most serious problems facing California and our nation" is the large number of uninsured residents, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) writes in the Los Angeles Daily News. However, the problem is not limited to the uninsured. "It is devastating to our economy and to working families, who pay a hidden tax to cover the costs," the governor writes.
Schwarzenegger says that bipartisan cooperation in the state Legislature is necessary to find a solution to rising health care costs and reduce the uninsured population. The state will "attack the problem from a variety of fronts and put everything on the table," he writes, concluding, "We can do better. We must and we will" (Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Daily News, 12/18).
"The 'shared' responsibility that Schwarzenegger cites is being increasingly viewed in Capitol circles as a code phrase for some kind of employer mandate," Dan Walters writes in the Fresno Bee.
"The only two ways to cover the working poor are for government to increase taxes to pay for it -- something Schwarzenegger has repeatedly rejected -- or for employers to provide it and cover a major portion of the cost," Walters writes (Walters, Fresno Bee, 12/19).