Schwarzenegger Health Plan
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núnez submitted a ballot proposal for health reform for the November 2008 election because they have not been able to get the needed 2/3 Legislature approval for the funding. Schwarzenegger and Núnez say that the bill would expand health insurance coverage to about 70% of uninsured Californians.
The measure would require most state residents to obtain health coverage. Residents with incomes up to 250% of the federal poverty level would receive state subsidies for coverage, and residents with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level would receive tax credits to ensure that health care premium costs do not exceed 5.5% of their incomes. Insurers would be prohibited from denying coverage to residents because of pre-existing medical conditions.
The funding would come from multiple sources:
- increasing California's tobacco tax by $1.75 per pack of cigarettes. The state's tobacco tax currently is 87 cents per pack.
- a new 4% fee on hospital revenue (designed to secure federal matching funds)
- consumer premiums and copayments
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