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Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Arnie pumps up heatlh care
Some time ago, I blogged here about Arnold Schwarzenegger's hopes of addressing the problem of California's 6.5 million uninsured citizens -- actually uninsured people, since that count includes immigrants both legal and illegal. Now those hopes have taken a big step. We can call them plans now, and here they are.
As predicted, Arnold's proposals are likely to tick everyone off. He wants to spread the burden of insuring everyone in California between doctors, hospitals, individuals (who will be required by law to sign on), and employers large and small. The small employers, who are at present most likely to not offer insurance, are likely to put up the biggest stink. They or the doctors, who are used to charging more or less whatever they want and being reimbursed in full (except when billing Medicare or Medicaid or their state equivalents).
But progress means pain, you gotta crack some eggs to make an omelet, etc. It's hard not to admire the showbiz governator for giving this a whirl. As some have argued, Arnie is going beyond Massachusetts' model, which he ardently followed and supported, because he's gathering men, women, and children into the safety net. Will Mitt Romney look westward and respond, especially given his presidential hopes?