Legislation for a $14.4 billion health-care plan touted as a bill that would increase fees for small businesses but will be voted on today in the California state senate.


The measure was passed in December by the state assembly in a 45-31 vote. The sponsors of the bill, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R- CA) and Democrat Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, said that this legislation will give medical coverage to 3.6 million of the 6.6 million Californians currently lacking health insurance.


The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, a Washington small business advocacy group, urged the Senate health committee to defeat the expensive health care reform plan.


“The health care bill the Senate is considering today would be a never-ending drain on California citizens, taxpayers and small businesses,” SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan said. “For individuals and businesses that are considering leaving the state for more tax and regulatory friendly climates, the costs of the bill, including a new 6.5 percent health tax on employers, would be another reason to relocate to more friendly environments.”


The bill does include provisions for some of those who cannot afford the plan in the form of subsidies and tax credits; a new bureaucracy is being created that will determine who has a low enough income to qualify for financial aid.