Arnold Schwarzenegger's remarkable metamorphosis continues, said The Washington Post in an editorial. He began as an iron-pumping beach bum, transformed himself into Mr. Universe, and then into a Hollywood icon. And now Mr. Universe has become 'œMr. Universal.' At his State of the State address last week, the governor of California took on an even bigger challenge: providing universal health coverage to everyone in his state. Under Schwarzenegger's proposal, every citizen of California would be required to purchase health insurance, with financial assistance from the state if needed. This is a plan that 'œstands out for its ambition.' Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts already offer universal coverage, but those states are much smaller and have relatively little poverty. California is the nation's most populous state, and nearly 20 percent of residents lack heath insurance. If Schwarzenegger can get 'œArnoldCare' into law, 'œit will juice the health-reform movements that are gathering steam in state capitals across the country.'
The big problem is that word 'œuniversal,' said George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times. In polls, Californians have consistently voiced their support for the idea of 'œuniversal health coverage.' But when they find out that Schwarzenegger's definition of 'œuniversal' includes the state's millions of illegal aliens, suddenly they're against it. A plan this 'œcolossal and contentious' does not stand a chance without broad public support. The inclusion of illegal aliens may seem compassionate, said The Christian Science Monitor in an editorial, but it's a tactical mistake. Why jeopardize an 'œalready complex and delicate plan' by linking it to the hot-button issue of immigration?
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