There was a feisty debate about Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez’s bill. He said under his plan, healthcare would no longer be just a privilege for those who can afford it:
“We’re going to say to all Californians that from this point forward, healthcare is a right that is afforded to everyone in this state.”
Both Nunez’s bill – and a similar measure by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata would require employers to spend seven and a half percent of payroll on healthcare – or pay that much into a state fund. Republicans say it’s a tax that will drive businesses away. G-O-P Assemblyman Roger Niello didn’t mince words:
“I like our Speaker. I hate his bill. How do I hate his bill? How can I count the ways? I don’t have time.”
Each bill now moves to the other house.