Arnie Vows to Make Health Insurance Mandatory

Bill provides coverage to all Californians
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2007 7:33 AM CDT
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers his speech on climate change at the United Nations headquarters Monday, Sept. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Tom Hanson)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced legislation yesterday to provide health insurance to the nearly 7 million Californians without it. Under his plan, all residents would be required to buy insurance, and the state would help low-income people pay for it. Businesses would have to provide insurance or help subsidize it. To help pay for the $14 billion expansion, Schwarzenegger wants to lease the state lottery to a management company.

The bill largely follows principles that Schwarzenegger proposed in January, although he  scrapped a fee to be paid by doctors after fellow Republicans criticized it as a tax. The plan, which still faces opposition from both parties, also prevents insurers from rejecting applicants based on age or health history. "We all know the nation is watching us," Schwarzenegger said.