Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata says the principle is familiar: Just as all drivers must have car insurance, all working Californians would be required to have health insurance. His plan would require both workers and employers to contribute to the coverage. The Democrat says shared responsibility makes economic sense:
“If you want to leave morality at the door, if you wanted to leave the best practices of medicine at the door and just want to walk through this on the politics of economics, you’d come right in and take a front row seat.”
Perata says the plan would cost five to seven billion dollars a year – and would require no new state spending. The National Federation of Independent Business says the mandate would hurt small businesses. In a statement, Governor Schwarzenegger said he’s encouraged that Perata is bringing ideas to the table. The Governor is expected to announce his own plans next month.