2 good stories on the progress here in California...and the unique partnership between the governor and Assembly speaker Nunez...BD
LOS ANGELES (AFP) Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday spoke in favor of his plan to provide universal health care for all state residents, where he said some 6.7 million people live with no type of health insurance. Universal health care is normally an issue raised by left-wing Democrats, but Schwarzenegger used the issue to help gain re-election in November 2006, which he did thanks to Democratic support. "Our health care system is broken, and the people expect us to fix it, and this is exactly what I'm trying to do," said Schwarzenegger, speaking at an event that included legislators, business leaders and health care representatives in the southern city of San Diego.
SACRAMENTO -- With time running out to overhaul California's healthcare system this year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez are fashioning a high-stakes strategy to raise business and hospital taxes through a ballot measure that would circumvent defiant Republican lawmakers. The unusual partnership between the Republican governor and the Los Angeles Democrat echoes their collaboration last year, which resulted in landmark global warming legislation and a minimum-wage increase.
The hospitals' support is critical to passing any initiative. Plus, some strategists believe that strong backing could budge enough Republican legislators to make the initiative unnecessary because many hospitals in GOP legislative districts stand to benefit financially.
"The progress we've made has been considerable," he said. "The question now is, can we go back to our constituencies and can we make the deal work."