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Monday, May 20, 2024
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Chamber Backs Schwarzenegger on Health Care Plan

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce repeated its support for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach to health care reform, and strongly encouraged state legislators to use it as a model for health care negotiations under way during the current special session.

The announcement by the 3,000-member chamber, which has been a strong advocate for Schwarzenegger’s health care reform plan, came Sept. 28. The governor and his senior staff have met with chamber officials on several occasions since he introduced the plan in the spring.

In the chamber’s opinion, employers cannot shoulder the entire burden of health care reform, and the current proposal is both equitable and reasonable. Assembly Bill 8 came out of the state Legislature and would have imposed a 7.5 percent payroll tax on employers with at least 10 full-time employees who do not offer health insurance coverage; the governor’s proposal is roughly half that amount. The proposed figure is also less than the average cost paid by employers who do provide health care benefits for their employees.

“The San Diego Regional Chamber knows that comprehensive health care reform is good for business,” said Schwarzenegger. “Health care costs are spiraling out of control for businesses and workers, making it harder for them to compete. My plan would reduce the approximately $14 billion hidden tax employers pay every year, bringing costs down for everyone.”

Ruben Barrales, president and chief executive officer of the chamber, said, “The governor has always pledged that a viable health care reform plan cannot place an unfair financial burden on businesses.

“I commend the governor’s leadership in holding a special session to solve the problem we face in California.”

, Connie Lewis

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