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ArnoldWatch hears that the
real deal in Sacramento has nothing to do with the language of the
workers' comp bill itself but with a political agreement on another
measure.

Tipsters tell us that in exchange for Democratic support on Arnold's
version of the workers' comp law, Arnold will agree not to fight to
overturn SB 2 -- the 2003 law mandating that many California businesses
provide health insurance to employees. SB 2 will be on the November
ballot as a referendum. In addition to keeping the Action Hero out of
the health care fight, the deal would keep the threatened workers' comp
initiative off the ballot. This would allow the labor unions and
Democratic Party supporters of SB 2 to focus all their money on winning
the health care referendum in November, without having to spend cash on
workers' comp.

Of course, the Chamber of Commerce, which led the drive to repeal SB 2
will also be able to focus its resources on the SB 2 fight. Arnold
knows that it will be much easier for the Chamber of Commerce to defeat
SB 2 at the ballot without his help, than it will be for him and the
Chamber to get the voters to pass their confusing, overreaching and
extremely long workers' comp initiative. For Arnold, this deal provides
one sure victory for him and gets him out of a dicey debate in
November.

If, instead, Arnold had to fight for the workers' comp initiative, he
would be stuck trying to defend a proposal that, according to its
official title "Permits injured employee treatment only by
employer-approved physician. Limits right to obtain second medical
opinion."

Arnold knows that forcing Californians to go to the "company doctor"
with no second opinion will be even harder to sell than Red Sonja.

Unfortunately, the real beneficiaries of this ultra-insider deal are
not California businesses or injured workers but Arnold's insurance
company donors. In the reportedly 177 page workers' comp proposal that
will be voted on before anybody has time to even read the whole thing,
insurance companies, which have spiked premiums to historic levels, are
not regulated at all.