Health Care Reform Debate Centers on Financial Issues
Summaries of an opinion piece and editorial regarding health care reform in California appear below.
- Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) argues that reaching a deal on health care reform this year "would relieve pressure on the state budget, and there's a tiny kernel of truth in that, but what he's really saying is that he wants to raise taxes to close the budget deficit -- something he's always said he wouldn't do," Walters writes in his Bee column. "Even so, health care is a relatively small portion of the state budget," and "it's simply ludicrous that a relatively tiny" amount of federal funding for health care reform "would have any material effect on the $1.5 trillion-plus California economy," according to Walters (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 11/13).
- Sacramento Bee: Neither leasing the state lottery nor raising the state tobacco tax to help finance health care reform "is ideal, but the tobacco tax is a better source of money in this case, provided that the plan takes into account the fact that the revenue is likely to shrink over time as fewer people take up smoking," a Bee editorial states. The editorial goes on to encourage Democratic legislative leaders and Schwarzenegger to split the difference on their proposals for tax credits for middle-income residents, employer contributions and requirements for individuals to buy health insurance (Sacramento Bee, 11/13).