Governor's Veto a Huge Step Back for Health Care Reform
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“Today, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed ground-breaking health care legislation that would have extended affordable health care coverage to the vast majority of uninsured Californians. By vetoing this bill, the Governor has dashed the hopes of working families who cannot afford to wait another day for change to happen.
“The bill, AB 8, was developed after months of work with legislative leaders and a broad spectrum of stakeholders. AB 8 addressed the serious concerns of affordability by ensuring that moderate-income working families would not have to spend more than five percent of their wages on health care costs. AB 8 would also have implemented a prescription drug bulk purchasing program and a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, which would significantly mitigate the rising costs of health care.
“Instead of signing this bill into law, the Governor has opted to revert back to his own regressive, unpopular plan. We urge the Governor use the framework of AB 8 as a starting point for real, affordable health care for all Californians.
“AB 8 is the product of public debates and compromise, and is our best shot at advancing comprehensive health care reform during this special session. By, ignoring the important provisions of AB 8, the Governor is taking us off of the path toward meaningful reform.”