The Assembly is still debating AB8, and the Governor has already sent his de facto veto message.
The real news is that he has announced his intention to call a special session. Here’s the statement, from his website.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement Regarding Health Care Legislation
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement regarding
Assembly Bill 8, by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Senate President Pro Tem
“I applaud all the hard work that has gone into efforts to reform California’s health care system, but I cannot sign AB 8 because it would only put more pressure on an already broken health care system.
“First and foremost, AB 8 does not cover everyone. Any reform that leaves millions without health insurance and fails to address our dangerously overcrowded emergency rooms simply maintains a broken system. I have said from the beginning of this debate that coverage for all Californians is critical to reducing health care
costs for everyone.
“AB 8 does not protect consumers because insurers would still be allowed to deny coverage, leaving Californians vulnerable to loss or denial of coverage when they need it most.
“I also believe that AB 8 is financially unsustainable. I have always said that I would not sign a health care bill that puts the vast majority of the financial burden for reform on any one segment of our economy. AB 8 unfortunately does that by requiring businesses to pay at least 7.5 percent of their payroll into a state fund or on health care services for employees.
“I believe we can find agreement on a financially sustainable reform plan that shares responsibility, covers all Californians and keeps our emergency rooms open and operating. The historic agreement reached this past week on the use of hospital contributions for coverage demonstrates that a more balanced approach is achievable.
“We have made tremendous progress on this issue during the past session and have found considerable common ground.
“That is why I intend to call a special session of the Legislature so that we can finish the job of truly reforming our health care system. I know that legislative leaders are willing to get the job done.
“We must keep working until we achieve the kind of historic solution that all of us
and the people of California want.”