Arnold: Universal health coverage

Calif. gov calls for universal coverage

By LAURA KURTZMAN, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 20 minutes ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday proposed to extend health coverage to nearly all of California's 6.5 million uninsured people, promising to spread the cost among businesses, individuals, hospitals, doctors, insurers and government.

The plan contains elements that are likely to provoke opposition from a wide range of powerful interests, including doctors, hospitals and insurers, as well as employers and unions. But it also contains incentives for each of them.

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

"I don't think it is a question or a debate if they ought to be covered. ... The federal courts have made that decision -- that no one can be turned away," 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."

Under Schwarzenegger's plan, all Californians would be required to have insurance, although the poorest would be subsidized. Businesses with 10 or more employees would have to offer insurance to their workers or pay 4 percent of their payroll into a state fund. Smaller businesses would be exempt.

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

Business groups and Republican legislators are likely to object to the extra costs imposed on businesses.

The state would subsidize the estimated 1.2 million poor people who do not currently qualify for state health coverage. They would be able to buy insurance through a state-run pool and would have to make a small contribution toward their premiums.

Schwarzenegger is betting that his plan will save $10 billion a year by cutting health care costs. He says the savings would offset the new fees he is asking doctors and hospitals to pay -- 4 percent of revenue for hospitals and 2 percent for doctors.

The state also would increase what it pays doctors and hospitals through Medi-Cal, the state insurance plan for the poor.

The governor was supposed to give his address in person to a panel of health care officials. Instead, he spoke via video link since he is still recuperating from broken leg suffered in a skiing accident.

Drools at prospect of making multiple ERISA preemption posts

"The state would subsidize the estimated 1.2 million poor people who do not currently qualify for state health coverage"

 

Wow the state is so generous with other people's money.

Does Arnold want to be shot?

why is he charging hospitals and doctors? this seems silly. you pay insurance to pay doctors who now are supposed to turn around and help pay your insurance? head explodes

why is he charging hospitals and doctors?

I think the "spread the cost" item means that in-state medical providers will be required to accept reduced fees from individuals covered under state insurance.

lol @ California.

Mark

illegals already have universal health care in Cali

ummmm....

won't-be-elected-to-another-term-inator

My first thought was "G()##@%!T!!!"

Then it hit me. Maybe this is actually a GOOD thing for America. Maybe CA will pass it, but it won't go Federal for several years. By that time, CA's health system will be in the shitter like Canada's. Maybe then people will change their minds about universal health care.

First good thing he's proposed. Props.

America spends more per capita on health care and provides less than most any western country.

America spends more per capita on health care and provides less than most any western country

Do you think universal health care will fix that?

"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."

Best quote of 07' by far!

The real question is, in what country has socialized medicine been the most effective, why has it been effective in that particular country, and can we improve and implement such a system in the USA??

I sure as shit dont know, but i'd appreciate some insite on the matter from the all knowing OG bretheren!

but then who will be our waiters and cut our grass and so on.............?

the AMA has a plan to provide coverage for everybody, increase efficiency and quality, and preserve the positive aspects of american medicine that will be obliterated by socialized health care.

Canada has universal health care.

I read a study that it is slightly cheaper this way, about $1000 per capita.

Probably has to do with economies of scale.

Of course the US drug companies charge US customers so much more $$$ than for their international customers.

i have seen the canadian clinics in BC and they were top notch , better than half the ones i've seen in socal

"Of course the US drug companies charge US customers so much more $$$ than for their international customers."

And the world should write the US a big thank-you card for single-handedly subsidizing their drug research and development.

You are welcome.

Mark

"i have seen the canadian clinics in BC and they were top notch , better than half the ones i've seen in socal"

It makes it easier to stand in line that way.

Mark