Schwarzenegger To Host Health Care Summit
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Monday will host a summit to address health care costs, the uninsured and other issues, the Sacramento Bee reports. According to the Bee, the summit is being promoted as an attempt to draw together "disparate groups that have never met," including employers, academics, insurance company executives, patient advocates and political leaders.
Schwarzenegger said the purpose of the summit is not to discover "just how do we make sure that everyone can get health care" but to first "figure out how do we bring down our health care costs."
However, critics of the governor "say the meeting is designed to provide election-year coverage for Schwarzenegger on an issue that is now so pressing no elected leader can avoid it," the Bee reports.
Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) said, "I think it's been a grand silence from the Governor's Office in terms of proposing any solutions for the health care crisis." Kuehl has introduced legislation (SB 840) to create a single-payer health care system in the state, a measure Schwarzenegger opposes.
The California Nurses Association plans to picket the meeting, which will be held at the University of California-Los Angeles. CNA spokesperson Chuck Idelson said, "We do not believe it's appropriate for others to be lending their credibility to enhance an election-year stunt by a governor who has an abysmal record on health" (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 7/20).