Health Care Stakeholders Count Down to Vote on Reform Plan
California's year of health care could all come down to the next 10 days, as Democratic legislative leaders and Gov. Schwarzenegger charge ahead with their efforts to craft a health care reform plan that both sides can support.
The Assembly Health Committee signed off on the Democrats' plan on Wednesday, pushing negotiations into high gear as both sides race toward the Nov. 26 scheduled Assembly vote on a health care overhaul.
If either Schwarzenegger or Democratic leaders harbor any doubts that a deal cannot be reached in time, they have not surfaced beyond closed doors. Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) said that setting a voting date before a compromise has been reached shows "how strongly we feel we're going to get it done."
But Republican lawmakers aren't convinced the governor and Democrats will be able to pull it off. Mike Villines, leader of the Assembly Republican Caucus, warned that business groups could launch a ballot referendum and try to repeal a health care reform law in the June 2008 election, and a Republican consultant said deep-pocketed tobacco companies, pharmaceutical firms and other businesses might be willing to pick up the tab for such a measure.
In the meantime, here's a look at how legislation involving long-term care fared in 2007.