Schwarzenegger's bill on health care not the best

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 12:21 a.m.
In a recent Gainesville Sun editorial about Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed California health care plan, a serious oversight was made. It stated that "by stepping up and pitching his own proposal, Schwarzenegger has more or less challenged both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature to come forward with their own health care plans."
In truth, the California state Legislature had just passed S.B. 840 - an excellent health care bill - on Aug. 22, 2006, four months previous to the governor's proposal. Schwarzenegger vetoed S.B. 840 in September. It called for a single payer universal health care system and would address the real problem with our system - insurance companies.
Why would Schwarzenegger veto such a bill? One can only guess that it has something to do with the $2 million-plus he's received in campaign contributions from the insurance industry.
There is another exciting health care bill that also predates Schwarzenegger's proposal in Congress - H.R. 676, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers. It's the National Health Insurance Act and like S.B. 840, it would implement a single payer system. It is subtitled, "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All."
Schwarzenegger's plan was not the first to be proposed and it is certainly not The best. His plan will only tighten the insurance companies' stranglehold on our system. Forced participation in an incredibly flawed system is not the answer, but this is what Gov. Schwarzenegger, and now President Bush, call for.
For real reform, we need to get the profit-driven insurance companies out of our health care system. If passed, this is exactly what S.B. 840 and H.R. 676 will do. And that is what the Governor and the President are afraid of.
Ann Murray, Micanopy

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