Schwarzenegger says action more important
than words in health care
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kim Belshé, Secretary for
the California Health
and Human Services Agency and Herb Schultz, Senior Health Policy
Advisor, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Photo courtesy Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News Service
January 23, 2007
FREMONT (BCN) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday
that taking action is more important than semantics in the debate
over whether the funding for his health care reform proposal comes
from new fees or new taxes.
Speaking to reporters and more than 20 Silicon Valley business
leaders at a conference room at a Seagate Technology office in
Fremont, Schwarzenegger said, "We want success in addressing
health care issues and we will solve them by moving forward."
Schwarzenegger said he wants to make sure that everyone in California
is insured and that a plan is approved this year.
Critics say the costs associated with the governor's plan are
really new taxes.
But Schwarzenegger insists that the costs are fees, according
to a spokeswoman for the governor.
The distinction is crucial because new taxes require approval
by a two-thirds majority in the state Legislature but a fee can
be passed by a simple majority vote.
Schwarzenegger told the business leaders that California's health
care plan is "broken" and he believes his plan would
make the state's businesses more competitive.
Schwarzenegger's plan would call for requiring businesses with
10 or more employees to either offer insurance or pay 4 percent
of their payroll into a fund for the uninsured.
It also would add new fees on doctors and hospitals to help pay
for the state's estimated 6.5 million uninsured.
In addition, individuals would pay into the system on a sliding
scale based on their income, according to the governor's office.
Schwarzenegger said, "We want to spread the costs among
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