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A blue ribbon task force named by the Governor and the legislature was asked to end California's constant budget crises by fixing the tax system. It's come up with a proposal that offends almost everybody except millionaires. Also, dangerous weather and commuting by bicycle. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, it's conventional wisdom that healthcare reform is in trouble. But major players are on board. After 60 years of opposition, why did the American Medical Association turn around? Is the Obama White House smarter than it gets credit for?

Main Topic Healthcare Reform: Is the President Doing It Right…or Not? 27 MIN, 47 SEC

Since President Harry Truman introduced the idea 60 years ago, the American Medical Association has opposed every effort at a government overhaul of the healthcare system. This year, the AMA is helping to run TV ads favoring healthcare reform, along with Big Pharma, Families USA and the Service Employees International Union.

Nancy Nielsen, Immediate Past President, American Medical Association
Robert Laszewski, President, Health Policy and Strategy Associates
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute / Atlantic (@NormOrnstein)
Charles Babington, Associated Press (@cbabington)

Making News Santa Anas Could Inflame Station Fire 3 MIN, 22 SEC

The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for both Northern and Southern California. Governor Schwarzenegger has ordered state agencies to prepare for the worst. Mark Jackson is meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service's Los Angeles Office.

Mark Jackson, Meteorologist-in-Charge, National Weather Service's LA Forecast Office

Main Topic Will the State Tax System Be Reformed? 12 MIN, 32 SEC

The sales tax in California may be the nation's highest, but 53% of state revenues come from the income tax. That creates problems, because incomes rise and fall with the stock market and the economy, creating the ups and downs that defy planning and lead to continuing budget crises. Governor Schwarzenegger and the legislature created the Commission on the 21st Century Economy to develop a new system. The Commission's final report won't be presented until later this week, but its principal features are known. It would eliminate the sales tax and the corporate income tax and flatten the personal income tax by eliminating the top brackets. Lost revenue would be replaced by something called the Business Net Receipts Tax or BNRT.

Christopher Edley, Jr., Commissioner, Commission on the 21st Century Economy
Jean Ross, California Budget Project

Reporter's Notebook Can LA Cyclists Be Counted? 5 MIN, 2 SEC

Recently, the City of Los Angeles has failed to count bicycles during morning and evening commuting hours as required by the LA Bike Master Plan.  But tomorrow, a count is finally scheduled to get under way.  Dorothy Le is Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Dorothy Kieu Le, Planning and Policy Director, LA County Bike Coalition

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