Schwarzenegger Urges Businesses To Endorse His Health Reform Plan
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Thursday urged business leaders to ask state lawmakers to back his proposal to overhaul California's health care system, the East Bay Business Times reports (Fitzhugh, East Bay Business Times, 7/12).
Under the governor's plan for health care reform, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families would be expanded to help provide coverage to low- and moderate-income state residents. Individuals who declined to carry insurance could face a reduction in state income tax refunds or have wages withheld.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, and Healthy Families is its version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program for children from low- and moderate-income households.
The $12 billion plan would require contributions from employers, individuals, insurers and medical providers (California Healthline, 3/23).
In addition, insurers would be required to provide coverage to anyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions or age. The proposal also would require insurers to spend at least 85% of premiums on health services (California Healthline, 6/25).
The governor called on business leaders to move away from general support for health care reform and endorse a single proposal, saying that business leaders "have to be more specific; now [they] have to narrow it down" (East Bay Business Times, 7/12).
Video of the governor's speech is available on his Web site.
Also on the topic of health care reform, Capital Public Radio's "Insight" on Thursday included a discussion with Ken Jacobs -- chair of the UC-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education -- about a study comparing on the economic impact of Democratic lawmakers' proposal (Callison, "Insight," Capital Public Radio, 7/12).
Audio of the complete program is available online.