Arnold’s plan

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger on Jan. 8 pro­posed toex­tend­health­cov­er­age­ton­earlyall of Cal­i­for­nia’s 6.5 mil­lion unin­sured, promis­ing to spread the cost among busi­nesses,in­di­vid­u­als,hos­pi­tals,doc­tors, in­sur­ers and gov­ern­ment.

The plan con­tains el­e­ments that are­like­ly­to­pro­vokeop­po­si­tion­from a wide range of pow­er­ful in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing doc­tors, hos­pi­tals and in­sur­ers, as well as em­ploy­ers and unions.Bu­ti­tal­so­con­tainsin­cen­tives for each of them, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

All chil­dren, re­gard­less of their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus, would be cov­ered through an ex­pan­sion of the state and fed­eral Healthy Fam­i­lies pro­gram.

“Idon’tthinki­ti­saque­s­tiono­rade­bate if they ought to be cov­ered. [. . .] Thefed­er­al­courtshave­made­that­de­ci­sion — that no one can be turned away,” Mr. Sch­warzeneg­ger said. “The ques­tion re­ally isn’t to treat them or not to treat them. The ques­tion re­ally is how can you treat them in the most cost-ef­fec­tive way.”

Un­derMr.Sch­warzeneg­ger’splan, al­lCal­i­for­ni­answould­berequiredto havein­sur­ance,al­thoughthe­p­oor­est wouldbe­sub­si­dized.Busi­ness­eswith 10 or more em­ploy­ees would have to of­fer in­sur­ance to their work­ers or pay 4 per­cent of their pay­roll into a state­fund.Smaller­busi­ness­eswould be ex­empt.

Also, in­sur­ers would no longer be al­lowed to deny cov­er­age to peo­ple be­cause of their med­i­cal prob­lems.

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