Governor Says Health Care Top Focus in 2007
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) two weeks ago announced that expanding health insurance would be his major focus in 2007 if he is elected to a second term, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports.
The governor hopes to get the Legislature to approve a "health care overhaul" to be placed on the 2008 ballot, according to the Business Journal.
The Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West also plans to qualify a health care reform measure on the ballot in 2008.
Since a summit in July that addressed health care issues, the governor has appointed four advisors to devise a health care plan that he will present at his State of the State speech in January 2007 if re-elected.
The commission members include Herb Schultz, a former deputy director of external affairs of the Department of Managed Health Care, and John Ramey, a former deputy director of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board. Richard Figueroa, a former legislative director for Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D), and Daniel Zingale, chief of staff for first lady Maria Shriver and former DMHC director, also are working on the commission.
The appointments of Figueroa and Zingale have not been announced, but the Business Journal reports that people involved with the task force confirmed the appointments (Roberts, Silicon Valley/ San Jose Business Journal, 10/27).
Gov. Schwarzenegger and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides both addressed health care last week, the Sacramento Bee reports. Angelides said that he will work to ensure that every child in the state has access to health care.
Schwarzenegger said that he would work to lower medical costs, but added that the answer is "in innovation rather than providing more money for care" (Yamamura/Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 10/28).