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Governor Says Budget Delay Imperils Calif. Healthcare Reform

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Aired 4/19/09

Some lawmakers say the stalemate over California's budget could torpedo any chance of reforming the state's troubled health care system this year. But Governor Schwarzenegger remains optimistic. KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The governor admits he's concerned the budget deadlock will distract lawmakers from taking action on health care reform, but he's not willing to give up on what he calls his "number one priority.”

The governor says with six-and-a-half million uninsured Californians, the state has to fix its health care system. But any chance of reform will have to wait until the budget is passed.

When lawmakers come back to work on August 20th, they'll have less than a month to wrap up their business for the year. Some observers believe if the budget impasse isn't resolved quickly, health car reform is dead.

The governor points out that last year, the legislature approved a controversial minimum wage hike and other key bills at the last minute.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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