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California Secure and Affordable Healthcare Act (2008)

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The California Secure and Affordable Healthcare Act or Arnoldcare was a universal health care program that was proposed to the legislature by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The three prongs of this Californian measure are the Prevention, health promotion, and wellness program; Coverage for all Californians; and Affordability and cost containment.[1]

Overview

Originally, "Arnoldcare" was presented to the California legislature for approval. However, the legislature and the Governor could not agree on several aspects of the plan, mainly how it would be funded. The Democratic legislature believes that the funds should come from higher tobacco taxes while Gov. Schwarzenegger wanted the money to stem from the state lottery.[2][3]

With the legislature and the Governor at a stalemate he has threatened and plans to pursue putting his health care reform on the 2008 ballot. Typically health care initiatives do not succeed, due to their complex nature and a well funded opposition. However, Gov. Schwarzenegger believes that with his track record he could win.[4]

Support

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his administration are behind the initiative.[5]

Assembly speaker and Governor sponsor the initiative

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and the Governor submitted the ballot language on Dec. 28, 2007 to pass the $14 billion health care coverage expansion. The plan would cover most of California's 5.1 million uninsured residents.

Unlike the original plans, the initiative would be covered by a $1.75 tax on cigarettes and a sliding scale payroll tax up to 6.5 percent for the largest employers and a hospital tax.[6]

The political team that will be endorsing the initiative consist of Republic Steve Schmidt, who ran the governor's re-election campaign and Democrat Gale Kaufman who is an adviser to Nunez.

Opposition

California Nurses Association are the fighting the proposition, while the group remains in favor of a single-payer system similar to Canada's.[7]

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has been quoted saying that he is reluctant to endorse the measure while the state is facing a budget deficit nearly the same size as the proposed budget for Arnoldcare.[8] With medical inflation outstripping the growth in wages there has also been doubt cast on if the plan is maintainable.

Others that have come out against the health care reform have been Blue Cross, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the pharmaceutical industry.[9]

Status

Filed with the California Secretary of State on Dec. 28, 2007.

See also

References