Despite having one of the largest economies in the world, California has 6.5 million uninsured citizens--750,00 of them children. Today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to release the details of a plan he has for universal health care in his state. CNBC's Jane Wells reported the story for “Morning Call.”
Schwarzenegger’s plan would start with children but eventually expand to cover all Californians – even illegal immigrants. Estimates put the cost of such a venture at $400 million or more, and it would still come in the face of a $5.5 billion budget deficit for the state.
To pay for the plan, the “governator” is proposing a cut in welfare benefits to parents not meeting minimum work requirements and illegal immigrants. There’s also talk that doctors and hospitals would be required to pay a “provider tax,” and that money for the poor in California would be diverted to the uninsured.
Schwarzenegger has made it clear that the government will not run the states health care system.
If the plan passed, California would join Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine as the only states to provide universal coverage.