Schwarzenegger Takes No Position on Measure To Repeal Health Insurance Law
In an interview on Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said that he is not prepared to say whether he supports repealing a state law (SB 2) that would require some employers to provide health insurance to workers or pay into a state pool, the AP/Fresno Bee reports (Chorneau, AP/Fresno Bee, 3/30). Under SB 2, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, employers with 200 or more employees will be required to provide health insurance to workers and their dependents by 2006 or pay into the state fund. Employers with 50 to 199 employees will have to provide health insurance only to workers by 2007. The law will exempt employers with fewer than 20 employees. The law also will exempt employers with 20 to 49 employees unless the state provides them with tax credits to subsidize the cost of health insurance for employees. Californians Against Government Run Healthcare is challenging SB 2 with a November ballot referendum to repeal the law (California Healthline, 3/29). One of the governor's key supporters, the California Chamber of Commerce, is among the business groups that oppose SB 2, the AP/Bee reports. However, Schwarzenegger said that the law is "something I have not looked at. I have not focused on it yet." He added that the state health care system "has to be overhauled," although he has not developed a reform proposal. He also said, "During my administration, I want to make sure that every child will be insured and has health care" (AP/Fresno Bee, 3/30).
Additional information on SB 2 is available online.