Our update about the state budget is below, but some notes of interest from the press conference:
A tired-looking, beefy Governor, hobbled onstage with crutches, and admitted to reporters that his broken femur has handicapped him, making him “very angry a lot of times” and causing life to be difficult for him and his wife. Still, the governor fielded questions tangentially related to the budget — but mainly about his health reform proposal.
Asked about his “evolving definition of taxes,” he referred to the “dividends” from having more insured people that doctors and hospitals would get under his health proposal. Schwarzenegger said those parties assessed a fee would benefit from higher revenues and reduce the “hidden taxes” under his proposal. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a tax.
Questioned on whether his reform plan would cover undocumented adult immigrants, the governor reiterated his answer from Monday, saying the state was already required by federal law (EMTALA) to provide emergency care in the emergency room to ALL patients. His health proposal simply would redirect patients to more cost-effective care.