The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Ouch! Schwarzenegger and the Wall Street Journal

Posted by Alan on August 15, 2007


Being a worldwide movie star, leader of the world’s 8th largest economy (or is California the 7th now?) and trying to tackle difficult policy issues can be tough. Consider: Last January Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces he’s taking on health care reform. He puts forward a bold and comprehensive plan. As readers of this blog know, I believe the plan was terribly flawed, but the effort was admirable.

Several months later, the passage of health care reform seems, to some, doomed. The Legislature is still nearly two months late in passing a budget. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on September 14th. To folks like those at the Wall Street Journal it looks like Governor Schwarzenegger’s dream of passing health care reform is dead.

Thus the editorial published today entitled “Arnold’s Health Flop.” Rupert Murdoch hasn’t even taken control of the paper yet and the Journal is lambasting the Governor’s proposal and practically dancing with glee it’s dead in the water.

But the Journal may not have the last laugh. There’s still time to pass health care reform this session — the Democratic Leadership is planning on moving Assembly Bill 8 (Nunez) as soon as they can. And the Governor can call a special session focused exclusively on the issue. So there’s plenty of opportunity to rush through reforms.

That’s where the Journal has it wrong — and it’s where the danger lies. California doesn’t need quick health care reform — it needs effective reform. The Journal should not be chortling over Governor Schwarzenegger’s problems in passing his reform package. It should be encouraging lawmakers to slow down and get the reforms right.

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