No child left in the waiting room

Marketplace Staff Jan 8, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: In California today, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose a health care plan that’s sure to pick a fight. He wants to guarantee health coverage for every child in the state. Hard to argue with that — but he’s including the children of illegal immigrants. More now from Sarah Gardner.

SARAH GARDNER: Ten percent of California kids don’t have health insurance. That’s over 760,000 children.

Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, contends it’s an economic no-brainer.

TED LEMPERT: It’s relatively cheap to insure kids, you want that preventive care early. The state ends up paying for any major health problems a kid has regardless.

But insuring illegal immigrants, even kids, will prove controversial among some Republican legislators.

They’ve blocked services for California’s undocumented in the past, arguing they don’t want to reward illegal behavior.

Schwarzenneger’s proposal to insure every child in the state is a turnaround for the governor. He vetoed a similar plan in 2005.

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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