October 22, 2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger writes to Melvin J. Howard opposing Bill 840

From: governor@govmail.ca.govSent: Tuesday, October 10, 2006 9:03 AM To: Melvin J. Howard
Subject: Re:Senate Bill 840

Thank you for sending me your email opposing SB 840. Hearing from my fellow Californians is very important to me as I work to improve our great state.
After extensive and thorough deliberation from proponents and opponents of this issue, I have decided to veto this bill. Socialized medicine is not the solution to our state's health care problems. SB 840 would have required an extraordinary redirection of public and private funding by creating a vast new bureaucracy to take over health insurance and medical care for Californians. Such a program would have cost the state billions and led to significant new taxes on individuals and businesses, without solving the critical issue of health care affordability.

I want to see a new paradigm that addresses affordability, shared responsibility and the promotion of healthy living. I look forward to working with the Legislature in 2007 to develop a comprehensive approach to health care that not only provides affordable medical treatment to people when they are ill, but also strives to make sure people do not get sick in the first place. This approach should support cost containment and recognize the shared responsibility of individuals, employers and government.

As part of this comprehensive approach, I have worked hard to address preventative measures, such as fighting obesity by signing legislation that bans junk food and sugar-laden drinks in public schools. On the question of access, I've made children's coverage a priority, resulting in nearly a quarter million additional children covered by our Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs. Most recently, I reached an agreement with the Legislature to provide discounts on prescription drugs of up to 60 percent for our most vulnerable citizens.

Thank you again for writing to me. Your active participation in the democratic process will help ensure a brighter future for California.


Arnold Schwarzenegger