They don’t destroy employers or health care providers, and the costs are shared by everyone. Health care becomes accessible to everyone – and we can’t afford not to have it. Health care is the most important domestic issue in the country, and the politicians have run out of excuses for putting off a solution.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat legislative leaders face the challenge of coming up with a health care reform package that can win broad support in their special session. Theoretically, it should be a snap. What’s notable about the competing packages is not how different they are, but how similar – and how centrist. Both start with the same premise of insuring the more than 6 million uninsured Californians, subsidizing those who can’t afford it and offsetting the costs with a fee on businesses, while at the same time making health care cheaper and better. It’s on the details that they differ: Who pays – and how much? Doctors and hospitals, as well as all employers, would pay under the governor’s plan, while employers would pay under the Democrats’ plan. The size of the fee would be 4 percent in the governor’s plan; 7.5 percent in the Democrats’ plan. Considering how politically centrist both plans are – this is far from socialized medicine or free market – there’s no reason a compromise can’t be worked out. And there’s very good reason one should: cost. The current health care system has tremendous costs that hurt both individuals and businesses. That’s why the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce stepped forward Monday to back Schwarzenegger’s plan. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton recognizes that as well, and she unveiled a centrist health care reform plan Monday strikingly similar to the one Schwarzenegger has been pushing for the state. It makes insurance mandatory, subsidizes costs for poor people with a fee on employers within the framework of the current health care system – and is in stark contrast to the more drastic one she proposed as first lady. What all these plans have in common is that they are essentially workable and pragmatic.
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