Schwarzenegger offers health care bill for uninsured
( Reuters ) - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday unveiled his long awaited bill aimed at providing health care insurance to nearly 7 million people in the most populous U.S. state who do not have it.
The Republican governor's bill will compete with plans proposed by Democrats who control the state legislature amid a special legislative session he ordered for lawmakers to tackle health care and water policies.
In addition to his goal of extending health care coverage to the uninsured, Schwarzenegger has said he aims to lower medical costs with legislation that would require individuals and businesses to have, offer or subsidize some form of health care insurance.
"Everyone is working so hard on this because what's at stake is a health care delivery system that works for all Californians," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
"We have the best opportunity for comprehensive health care reform in 100 years because the more people study our plan, the more they agree with what we have been saying since day one: if everyone pitches in and does their part, then everyone will benefit," the celebrity governor added.
Schwarzenegger said his bill advances the principles he said in January would guide his plans for extending health care insurance to an estimated 6.7 million uninsured Californians.
Under his bill, Californians would be required to have health care insurance. Low and moderate income individuals could obtain it through a subsidized state account.
Employers would be required to offer employees health care insurance and insurers could not reject applicants because of their age or medical history.