Skip to comments.Angelides says governor broke vow to insure youths
Posted on 06/20/2006 12:59:08 PM PDT by SmithL
SAN JOSE - Veering from his central campaign theme of increasing education funding, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides on Monday criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for breaking a 2003 promise to provide health care to every California child -- including those who are in the country illegally.
Schwarzenegger has said recently that the state should pay health insurance for the children of illegal immigrants, but proposals to fund such programs are caught up in the budget battle's bipartisan bickering, and the governor has expressed concern over the cost.
"I hope and expect he'll talk to his Republican colleagues in the Legislature and tell them to quit holding up the budget on this issue," Angelides told a small group of supporters and patients at an East San Jose health clinic.
"This is an area where we need to be smart and sensible," he said at Foothill Family Community Clinic on Story Road, where he greeted a boy being treated for a sore throat and a woman complaining of an eye problem.
Just hours after Angelides' San Jose stop, however, Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, said he would not include the expansion plan in the budget. But the issue remains relevant because Perata said he would instead push for separate legislation to cover illegal immigrant children.
A spokesman for Schwarzenegger's re-election bid did not dispute the campaign pledge -- made in the recall race 21/2 years ago -- to cover all children, but said the governor has made strides in expanding health insurance for children.
"Angelides would rather bring his message of negativity, pessimism, and higher taxes to San Jose than acknowledge that Gov. Schwarzenegger has successfully increased enrollment in Healthy Families by 11 percent," Matt David said in an e-mail.
Angelides, the state treasurer, who wants to be known as the education candidate -- and has pledged repeatedly to increase taxes on the wealthy to fully fund schools -- shifted his central campaign message in recent days to weigh in on the bitter, partisan health care debate.
Democrats have proposed to expand the federal- and state-funded Healthy Families program, which would insure more illegal immigrants. The governor, meanwhile, wants to direct more money to counties, which have the option to insure illegal immigrants and generally do.
Angelides, speaking from a podium in the clinic's lobby Monday morning, called Santa Clara County's children's health initiative a model for using tobacco settlement money to provide affordable insurance for low- and middle-class families who do not qualify for government-sponsored health care.
"When I become governor of this great state in 2007," Angelides said, "I'm going to sign legislation that expands health care for the children of every working family in this state, the 800,000 children who are not covered."
One of a handful of mothers who heard Angelides at the clinic, Guadalupe Garduno, agreed with the proposal to insure the children of undocumented immigrants, saying their parents come to the United States to fill labor demands and deserve to see doctors when their children fall ill.
"How is it possible," asked Garduno, a mother of three, "that children of parents who are working, and paying taxes, can't get insurance for their kids?"
Angelides expressed dismay at Schwarzenegger's veto last year of a bill by Wilma Chan, D-Oakland, that would have provided a health plan for each uninsured child in California. The governor's concern over expanding health care programs or creating a new universal program is cost.
Angelides said that insuring every child would cost the state $130 million in the first year and about $300 million a year after that.
"These are very modest proposals that will make us stronger," he said.
He also expressed support for comprehensive health care and said he would work "hand in hand" with Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, "to move toward universal coverage." Her universal health care measure, SB840, cleared the Senate and is waiting to be heard in an Assembly committee.
Write a check for it then.
Wow...I can't believe Angelides didn't say women and minorities were harmed also...progress people, progress /sarcasm.
Paying for medical (let's be nice and throw in dental while we are at it) care/insurance for children of illegals is good.
Paying for medical (& dental?) care/insurance for children of legal citizens is bad.
Sounds like normal mode thinking for Dems, RINOS and escapees from mental wards.
If this nutcase gets to Sacramento, the only people left standing in the Golden State will be the ultra-rich limosuine liberals and illegal aliens.
California has to do something. The illegals won't pay their ER bills and ER's are closing in California due to a lack of funds.
$500 Million is modest? WHO does it make stronger?
Ummm, Burton, the head Demcrat, agreed to drop the illegal immigrant provision.
Far as I know, Gov. S. made little comment about it.
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