Schwarzenegger Criticized for Changing Positions
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) recently has been criticized by Republicans and Democrats, who said the governor is changing his position on critical issues, such as prescription drug discounts and health care reform, for political advantage, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
As a candidate for governor, Schwarzenegger said he supported universal health care coverage for children. However, in 2005 Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill to expand coverage for children and campaigned against employer health insurance mandates in 2004. This year, Schwarzenegger said he will make health reform a priority if he is re-elected.
Schwarzenegger, also in 2004, proposed that prescription drug manufacturers voluntarily provide discounts, but recently he proposed a plan that would mandate drug discounts in five years.
The governor also voted for Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot measure that would have restricted government services -- including health care -- for undocumented immigrants. This year, Schwarzenegger said his support for the measure was a "mistake" (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/18).
Schwarzenegger's proposed drug discount program would do "what is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to do -- fix prices" on prescription drugs, according to a San Francisco Examiner opinion piece by Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. Pipes writes that Schwarzenegger's "plan might make sense if government price controls actually worked," but "in reality ... pharmaceutical companies would need to compensate for the forced discounts by raising prices on people who don't qualify" for the program (Pipes, San Francisco Examiner, 8/18).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.