AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIf that’s not challenge enough, the deal also requires voter approval on the November 2008 ballot, and it relies on federal funding that may or may not materialize. And all of that will be moot if federal courts stick to past precedents and find the legislation faulty because employers would be forced to provide health insurance. In this case, the measure doesn’t require private employers per se to provide health insurance, but it does force them to contribute up to 6.5 percent of the payroll to a state fund if they don’t. Still, there is reason to be optimistic. After months of failed negotiations, it seemed that the governor and Legislature might end the year unable to compromise on their competing reform bills. To be sure, it will face serious opposition from insurers, the California Nurses Federation, legislative Republicans and the tobacco industry. They all have legitimate concerns. But the current system is shamefully broken, leaving working families unable to afford basic health care and an uneven burden on those with insurance to pick up the cost of the millions of uninsured. This plan certainly isn’t perfect, but right now, it’s the best California has got. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez celebrated their health-care reform deal Monday with much mutual appreciation, it’s a bit early to be claiming victory. The Assembly approved a compromise deal that would make health insurance mandatory, affordable and within reach for virtually everyone in California, funded by an employer payroll tax, a $2 cigarette-tax hike and federal matching funds. But first there’s Don Perata to deal with; the taciturn leader of the state Senate has put the kibosh on more than one deal between the Assembly and the governor. Perata said he wasn’t going to call the full Senate back in for a vote before the end of the year. Furthermore, he said he isn’t sold on this $14.4 billion plan and will have to take a hard look at it in the context of a state budget deficit.