California | Local News
Schwarzenegger touts healthcare plan, takes GOP to task again
Los Angeles Times
September 20, 2007
...Asked whether voter anger about illegal immigrants, which led to the repeal of a 2003 law to let them obtain drivers' licenses, might be used by opponents of his healthcare plan to doom it, Schwarzenegger said: "Those are Mickey Mouse things compared to immigration reform.
"The real big elephant in the room is that for years and years and years the people have been angry and the federal government hasn't been doing anything about it," he said.
Schwarzenegger said his plan would not give illegal immigrants any new healthcare opportunities but would allow counties to shift all the money they spend caring for the uninsured now -- often in emergency rooms -- to less expensive clinics. The outline of the plan the governor released in January estimated that counties would receive about $1 billion a year that could be used to treat about 750,000 undocumented immigrants who lacked coverage from employers.
The governor employed an obesity metaphor to explain his tough-love speech to the state Republican Party earlier this month.
At its semiannual convention, Schwarzenegger said the GOP is losing voter support because it remains too ideologically rigid on issues such as healthcare and global warming -- subjects on which he says polls show that a majority of the state's Republicans favor substantial government action. Many party leaders took umbrage at the suggestion that they should sacrifice principles for political success.
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