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Governor Says Fixing Healthcare Will Ease Budget Crisis

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Aired 4/19/09

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the state's looming budget problems shouldn't dissuade lawmakers from passing healthcare reform this year. The governor says fixing the healthcare system would actually help ease the budget crisis. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Some analysts predict California could have a $10 billion budget shortfall next year. Governor Schwarzenegger has asked state agencies to make plans to cut spending. But the governor says that doesn't mean lawmakers should forget about healthcare reform. He argues his plan to require everyone to have health insurance would boost the state's economy.

Some Democrats aren't so sure. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez agrees now is the time for healthcare reform. But he doesn't think the state will reap much of an economic benefit.

Republicans say the looming budget crisis means the state shouldn't even think about adding new programs. Republican lawmakers say they'll vote against any plan the governor and the Democrats come up with.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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