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Excerpts: News Conference on California Health Plan - Part 1

On December 17, 2007, a news conference with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and others was held after the California State Assembly passed a "universal" health insurance plan modeled after the Massachusetts plan. The plan was based on an individual mandate to have insurance, an employer play-or-pay system, and a variety of taxes and subsidies. The taxes could not be passed by the legislature because under Proposition 13, state tax increases require a 2/3 vote. With all legislative Republicans opposed, the Democratic majority (and the Republican Governor) could not pass the tax component. The tax component was thus to be put on the November 2008 ballot. This clip is an edited-down version of the news conference. Part 1 consists of edited remarks by the governor and Assembly speaker. Part 2 consists of remarks by the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Andy Stern, and CEO chairman Steve Burd. It is notable that both worked together on the health insurance matter since unions previously regarded Burd as the villain in the Southern California supermarket strike of 2003 - fought partly over the issue of health insurance. Finally, Part 3 consists of remarks by Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, a Republican who is bucking his part on this issue (along with the Governor). Despite the mood of celebration at this meeting, in January 2008, a California Senate committee rejected the bill with all Republicans and all but one Democrat opposed. Fears about potential costs of the plan were raised as well as general concerns about the deterioration of the California state budget. That action killed the bill. This is Part 1 of 3 parts on the December 2007 event.
Length: 06:59

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