Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his allies are scrambling to keep his health care reform plan from collapsing amid an ever widening — and increasingly contentious — rift between two of the most politically important special interests in the state: labor and business.Well, he could decide that people are more important than business, but this is Arnold we're talking about...
Earlier this week, the California Labor Federation — having walked out of negotiations earlier — launched an aggressive campaign accusing Schwarzenegger's plan of gouging the working class by requiring people to buy health insurance without enough subsidies.
Business groups lashed back, warning that unions risked blowing up nearly a year's worth of work on what many in Sacramento consider potentially the most significant legislation in decades.
The division has created a form of political checkmate for Schwarzenegger, who can either hold the line on employer taxes or try to subsidize more uninsured workers, which would likely require more taxes on employers. Either move willalienate someone.
"Health care is on life support," said Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. "I can't figure out how the governor can salvage this. It's difficult to reconcile the competing interests of business and labor."
Tuesday, October 23, 2007