Time Ticking for California Lawmakers to Pass Health Care Reform
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
California lawmakers are running out of time to pass a health care reform plan this session, and Democrats and Republicans are still at an impasse. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders met to talk about it Tuesday. Republicans say they won't support plans by either the Democrats or the governor, because both include fees for businesses. But Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman says they could still make progress on smaller issues.
Ackerman: We suggested the governor may want to look at aspects of all the plans that we can get done this year. I don't think we're going to get the entire plan done. Obviously we don't support a lot of it.
Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata says the best hope for healthcare reform this session may be to pass a bill without Republican support and work out a deal with the Governor to sign it.
Perata: It's not going to be everything he wanted, but it's a lot more than we have right now, and if we can get 75 percent of the way there, that's a pretty good day's work, and we can build on that in the future.
The Democrats' plan calls for businesses to provide coverage or pay into a state fund. The Governor's proposal is similar, but it also taxes doctors and hospitals and mandates everyone be insured.