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Schwarzenegger embraces national healthcare, vows quick implementation in California

April 29, 2010 |  1:21 pm

As other GOP governors appeal to the courts to roll back federal healthcare reform, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Thursday that he was fully on board with the overhaul and was directing his administration to begin putting the new system in place in California immediately.

“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with the federal government to get this done,” the governor said, according to prepared remarks for a speech he was to deliver at UC Davis Medical Center on Thursday. “The bottom line is this: If national healthcare reform is going to succeed, it is up to the states to make it happen. I am directing my administration to move forward.”

The governor said he would call a special session of the Legislature, if necessary, to quickly get in place various legislative changes needed for the implementation of the federal healthcare plan. He also said his administration would work with the federal government to create a “high-risk” coverage pool to insure Californians who had been refused insurance because of their medical history.

Schwarzenegger said California also would enforce new federal rules that prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to children and remove lifetime dollar limits on insurance reimbursements. “This is not a partisan issue,” he said. “We all need quality healthcare.”

-- Evan Halper in Sacramento