Perata Expects No Changes to Health Care Reform Financing Plan
Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said that he expects the Senate to take action on compromise health care reform legislation (ABX1 1) negotiated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles), columnist Dan Weintraub blogs in the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert."
Perata said that although amendments to the bill are possible, he does not anticipate changes that would affect the plan's funding mechanism (Weintraub, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 1/10).
Last month, Schwarzenegger and Núñez submitted a proposed ballot measure that would establish the funding mechanism for their health care overhaul plan. It calls for a tobacco tax increase, employer contributions and a new hospital fee.
The plan also would draw financing from increased federal funding, and consumer premiums and copayments.
Proponents of the ballot measure would have to rework it and resubmit it to the attorney general if the Senate amends ABX1 1 substantially (California Healthline, 1/2).
Californians must ask whether Schwarzenegger and the Legislature can move forward on health care reform without addressing the state budget deficit and how that reform plan would affect small businesses in the state, according to a Sacramento Bee opinion piece by small-business leaders in California. The authors are:
- John Kabateck, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business;
- Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee; and
- Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small Business Association.
Kabateck, Fox and Toccoli maintain that ABX1 1 "fails to address the critical issue of how to pay for the new state program" and instead would rely on a ballot measure "loaded with tax increases."
"Creating a new $14 billion government program that jeopardizes the ability of California small businesses to maintain current jobs and create new ones damages the economic engine that, if left to function smoothly, would help to reduce the budget deficit problem," they write (Kabateck et al., Sacramento Bee, 1/11). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.