State voters on Tuesday re-elected Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to a second term in which he is expected to prioritize health care affordability, the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 11/8). According to the Los Angeles Times, Schwarzenegger also will work with legislators to expand access to health care (Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
With all precincts reporting, Schwarzenegger had 55.8% of the vote. Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) had garnered 39.2% (Secretary of State Web site, 11/8).
The Times reports that health care "will dominate the 2007 agenda," although budget constraints could restrict some proposals. The state budget deficit could reach as much as $5 billion in each of the next two years, according to some estimates (Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
Schwarzenegger aides have begun seeking feedback on health care from various groups (Marinucci/Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/8).
Adam Mendelsohn, deputy chief of staff for Schwarzenegger, said that the governor is "saying everyone needs to be at the table: unions, employers, health plans, hospitals, doctors [and] consumer advocates" (Ritter, USA Today, 11/8).
Mendelsohn said Schwarzenegger's health care proposals will:
- Focus on addressing the cost of health care;
- Seek agreement among stakeholders; and
- Avoid tax increases (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/8).
Aides to Schwarzenegger have said that he will work with legislators to reach consensus on health care proposals and that he will not seek to put the proposals before voters.
An administration official said, "We don't think voters want us to go to the ballot" (Los Angeles Times, 11/8).
NPR's "Morning Edition" on Wednesday reported on Schwarzenegger's re-election. The segment includes comments from:
- Matthew Dowd, campaign spokesperson for Schwarzenegger; and
- Schwarzenegger (Jaffe, "Morning Edition," NPR, 11/8).