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Monday, December 17, 2007

California Sails Towards Universal Healthcare

SACRAMENTO — California moved significantly closer to enacting a broad expansion of health insurance coverage Monday when the Democratic-controlled Assembly passed legislation that has the backing of the Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But it is far from certain that the Legislature will give final approval to the measure, which would provide coverage to an estimated 70 percent of the 5.1 million persistently uninsured Californians.

The bill must first gain passage in the Senate, also controlled by Democrats, where there are deep concerns about the measure’s impact on the state’s widening budget gap. And even if the Senate ultimately joins with Mr. Schwarzenegger and the Assembly, state leaders then must persuade California voters to support billions of dollars in new taxes and fees in a November referendum.

Read the descriptive longer report at New York Times

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