Schwarzenegger Discusses Health Care Reform
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said that proposals to reform California's health care system so far have not adequately addressed the whole problem and that he is looking for a strategy that will "bring down the costs of health care for everyone," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The governor said the state must "find a way where it is cheaper so that people can afford to cover themselves."
Schwarzenegger has "no plan" to overhaul the state's health care system, except to call a summit of hospital administrators, doctors, consumers and national health experts to discuss a solution, according to the Chronicle. Schwarzenegger has said he will make health care a priority if he is re-elected.
That "pledge comes despite Schwarzenegger's mixed record on health care," the Chronicle reports. During his term, Schwarzenegger's budget proposals have included caps on enrollments in public programs, limited services, reimbursement reductions to providers and increased cost-sharing for patients.
The governor also vetoed legislation that would have expanded health insurance to all children in the state and campaigned against a proposed employer health insurance mandate in 2004.
Most health care experts are "respectful of the problems that Schwarzenegger has faced," such as trying to reduce a $17 billion deficit, "but still believe more could have been done by now," the Chronicle reports (Chorneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/3).