The measure is co-authored by the two top Democratic lawmakers in the State: Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. Nunez told the committee it’s not perfect, but it’s a start toward covering the uninsured:
“3.4 million people are going to have access to healthcare. That’s something to be proud about.”
The bill covers all kids, and requires employers to either provide healthcare, or pay into a state fund. That’s the part that has Republicans steamed. They call it a tax. Lorraine Salazar owns several Mexican restaurants in the Central Valley. She says the bill would destroy her bottom line:
“I will have to close a location, I will have to tell 35-40 employees that I cannot afford to employ them anymore because of some well-intentioned legislation.”
Governor Schwarzenegger – who has his own plan – has said he looks forward to spending time over the next few months hashing out a compromise.