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CURRENT ISSUE:  July 7, 2008
VOL. 46, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
New cathedral will include healing garden for abuse survivors
Bishops issue new study guide on torture
Governor pledges fight
for health care reforms
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks to the Catholic Health Association at its meeting in San Diego June 23.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged before an audience of Catholic health care leaders June 23 to continue working to achieve health care reform in a state where 6.7 million people are uninsured.

“Even if it takes praying 20 rosaries a day, every day I will be on my knees praying the 20 rosaries and we are going to get the job done,” said the Republican governor, who is a Catholic.

Schwarzenegger also went to the 2008 Catholic Health Assembly in San Diego to congratulate Lloyd H. Dean, president and CEO of the San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West, on his new post as chairman of the board of trustees of the Catholic Health Association.

Calling Dean “an action hero,” the governor said he took over a system that “was posting deep financial losses” and balanced the books within two years, “while maintaining the compassionate and high-quality service that defines your hospitals.”

Schwarzenegger said Dean “is like me” on solving the problem of the uninsured. “We don’t want to wait for Washington when it comes to health care reform,” he said.

“On the national level they have been talking about health care reform and universal health care for 100 years, since Teddy Roosevelt in 1912. He was the first one to mention that,” the governor said. “But we haven’t seen much action out of Washington since, so, of course, states have to take it on themselves and push the ball forward.”

The only way to achieve health care reform “is through shared responsibility among employers, providers, insurers, individuals and government — and that is state and federal government,” Schwarzenegger said.

His plan, which ultimately died in the Senate Health Committee, had the backing of “an unprecedented and historic coalition of hospitals, doctors, insurers, patient groups, business groups and labor groups and the list goes on and on,” he said. “Organizations that normally stand toe-to-toe stood side by side, united behind our plan.”

Calling the current situation “a moral crisis,” “a health crisis” and “an economic crisis,” Schwarzenegger said that “this is why we will not rest until the job is finished.”

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