Governor Talks Health Care Reform With Rush Limbaugh
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) called in to talk show host Rush Limbaugh's radio program on Wednesday to explain his proposal to rework California's health care system and other recent political moves, the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/22).
Under the governor's plan, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families would be expanded to help provide coverage to low- and moderate-income state residents. Individuals who declined to carry insurance could face a reduction in state income tax refunds or have wages withheld.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, and Healthy Families is its version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program for children from low- and moderate-income households.
The $12 billion plan would require contributions from employers, individuals, insurers and medical providers. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has agreed to support an increase in Medicaid funds to help pay for the proposal (California Healthline, 3/15).
Schwarzenegger told Limbaugh that his proposal would reduce health care costs for California residents in part by bringing down fees paid to help offset the cost of treating the uninsured in hospital emergency departments (Sacramento Bee, 3/22).
Limbaugh and Schwarzenegger debated a provision in the governor's plan that would extend health insurance coverage to children regardless of immigration status and talked about the plan's funding mechanism (AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 3/21).
Limbaugh's Web site features complete audio and a transcript of the discussion with Gov. Schwarzenegger.