June 24, 2005

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

Health Care Bill by Keuhl the Wrong Solution

Your editorial correctly says its “Time for a Universal Health Care Plan” when 25% of all Americans can’t get health coverage, including even larger numbers of Latinos. But the bill by Sen. Sheila Keuhl in the state legislature provides the wrong solution by trying to create an expensive, bloated, state-run health plan. MediCal is a failing program and putting all Californians on MediCal is unworkable and unaffordable to the state budget.

The California Medical Association has developed a more effective, revenue-neutral plan for covering the uninsured that would continue MediCal and Healthy Family-type coverage for the poor, but for the middle and upper classes would return control of health care to consumers and get “managed care” out of the doctor-patient relationship. Right now, employers are turning over more costs of health care to employees, but with proper change in the tax laws, working families can be protected and empowered.

Past CMA President Bob Hertzka, MD has presented the CMA plan to multiple national organizations in health care where it has sparked considerable interest and growing approval. This and other “consumer directed health care” proposals will have increasing impact, and Latinos must inform ourselves and participate in the debate. Empowering working families instead of bureaucrats is a better answer to our health care crisis.

James Santiago Grisolia, MD
District I trustee, California Medical Association
Chief of Staff-Elect, Scripps Mercy Hospital [San Diego and Chula Vista Campuses]

Schwarzeneggar’s Fees Are the Same as Taxes

When Gov. Schwarzenegger came to San Diego last week he suggested that his opponents would repeal Prop. 13 and attempt to raise taxes across the board. Where are those proposals? Who are those opponents? Is this another attempt at Karl Rove-type scare tactics? In fact, the basic elements of Prop. 13 could only be changed at the ballot box and, furthermore, it was Schwarzenegger’s own advisor who sug-gested raising property taxes. In order to protect current levels of education and health care funding, some Democrats in the assembly have proposed a plan that would follow the examples set by Ronald Reagan, Pete Wilson, and George Deukmejian by raising the income tax on the wealthiest citizens in our state. However, State Assembly member Shirley Horton, Gov. Schwarznegger and the other Republicans in Sacramento have rejected this idea because it is a T-A-X.

Gov. Schwarzenegger will spout his no-new-taxes mantra from now until November to make us think this special election has something to do with taxes. It does not. In the meantime, Shirley Horton and her partisan associates in our state assembly will push Gov. Schwarzenegger’s plan to increase fees at our state colleges and universities by 8% this year, following a nearly 10% increase from last year. Their budget will also, for the first time, impose fees on the poor who must utilize Medi-cal. Shirley Horton may not call these taxes, but if a tax is something people must pay to the government, then surely, under Schwar-zenegger’s budget students and their families, along with the poor, will be taxed.

Patricia Moriarty
President Eastlake Bonita Democratic Club
Chula Vista

Schwarzenegger Has Pulled a Fast One

From day one, Governor Schwarzenegger has made the wrong choices for the people and the state of California.  He stormed into Sacramento, broom in hand, claiming he was going to sweep special interests out of politics and clean up the Capital, and even had the gall to state that he had enough of his “own money” and wouldn’t need to take campaign contributions like other politicians. But it’s really the people of California who have been taken.  With his snake-oil salesman approach and his bag of Hollywood stunts and gimmicks, Arnold Schwarzenegger has really pulled a fast one - not just on the people who voted for him, but on all Californians who relied on this governor to stick to his word, especially on education. Rather than to actually govern and work with the Legislature, as countless of governors before him have — he embarked on year-round campaigning for his own personal and special interest agenda. And now, with his calling of this $80 million special election, he will force our counties, cities, and communities to have to cut back on services that we all rely on, like police, firefighters, and teachers. So much for being the “People’s Governor.”

Jesus Duran
San Ysidro

Schwarzenegger On the Right Track

Schwarzenegger just made the biggest move toward healing California of its money starved Politicians. The people of California want this special election to let our representitives know what we think. And now that the majority party hates this election as much as they do, it tells me that it is the right thing to do. Arnold will see just how costly this ends up being for him, hell, he just might get re-elected. When the people of California see all the services in their own backyards being cut because the majority party can’t balance a budget, Arnold has found a way to get his job done. Nothing spurs a citizen to head for the voting booth more than anger. Too bad there won’t be a box on that ballot to tell the majority party “you’re fired.”

Unfortunately, my fellow citizens of this state have fallen prey to the give-a-ways and won’t vote out a representitive that is giving them everything. How do all these people and Politicians think this gets paid for? From people like me that work hard and pay taxes! GO ARNOLD!!

Michael Reed
San Diego

Reader Glad Schwarzenegger Speaking Out on Immigration

I just finished reading your commentary on Arnold’s Hyperbole (By Fabian Núñez, Speaker, California State Assembly, published June 10, 2005). Let me begin by stating the fact. Arnold is not anti-immigrant. He’s anti-illegal immigrants. You need to make a distinction. Far too often I read commentaries in which people continue to misinterpret the governor’s comments and others who oppose illegal immigration and brand dissenters as racist. I’m glad the governor is being vocal and adressing this issue.

Illegal immigration is out of control in this country. It undermines our laws and it undermines the legality of the immigration process. It is estimated that there are between 8 and 11 million illegals in this country. Do you think we should provide amnesty for these people? That’s not going to solve anything. Ten years down the road we’ll have another ten million that already have entered the country. The illegal immigration problem is not going to be solved by giving amnesty, which virtually what AJR 20 all about. It will be solved by securing our borders. In turn we can avoid this mess.

By supporting AJR 20, as you suggested, it will open the door for further illegal immigration and continue the cycle. It’s a shame that Hispanic Americans have not taken a tougher stance on this. To me it seem as if Hispanic Americans - born in the U.S - pledge their allegiance to Mexico and not to their native land. Overall, what’s going to solve this issue is the economic development of Mexico. Mexico needs to develop its economy. Can you imagine, if Mexico ever became an economic super power and have millions of latin americans migrate to its land. They’d be furious and demand their departure. I will end this email by again reiterating what I said before. You cannot keep calling those of us with opposing views as anti-immigrant.

Eric M
Costa Mesa, CA

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