Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has vetoed a proposed universal healthcare bill for California. If passed, the bill would have extended coverage to all 36 million California residents, replacing the current private insurance system with a state-run system. In a column printed in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Schwarzenegger defended his decision, claiming, "Such a program would cost the state billions and lead to significant new taxes on individuals and businesses, without solving the critical issue of affordability." The bill did not address what additional taxes would be levied to pay for the program. Critics blasted his decision, saying that the governor is beholden to pharmaceutical, insurance and healthcare companies. A study commissioned by Health Care for All California found that while the program would have cost the state $17 billion, it would have saved $25 billion though lower drug costs and decreased bureaucracy. Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D), who wrote the bill, said that she would introduce it again next year and hopes it will have more support at that time.
For more on Schwarzenegger's veto:
- read this Los Angeles Times article