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Schwarzenegger blames Perata for demise of healthcare plan that was better for California

March 24, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger blamed former state Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland) for the demise of his healthcare plan in 2008 -- a plan the governor says was a better deal for California than the bill signed by President Obama on Tuesday.

"If it wouldn't have been for Sen. Perata, we would have healthcare reform, and it would have cost us $2 billion less" than the federal plan, Schwarzenegger said. His comments were in response to a question about whether California should join more than a dozen other states in a lawsuit to block implementation of the new federal law.

Schwarzenegger said although he has concerns about what may be a $3-billion cost for California, according to estimates from the Schwarzenegger administration, there are things he likes about the new federal plan.

"We will work with the federal government to implement this, to be their partners, and we will work with Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein and with Sen. [Barbara] Boxer on this issue and move forward in a very aggressive way," he said. "There are good things there. And it will make it impossible for insurance companies to drop patients because of medical history and all of those kind of things. So there are good things there, but we've got to work out how it's going to be funded."

-- Anthony York