Republican opposition to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s universal health care plan – which could prove fatal to the proposal – is being tested at the state Republican Party convention this weekend. Delegates will debate a resolution attacking Schwarzenegger’s plan as a tax hike. If the health care plan is eventually approved over the opposition of a majority of GOP legislators, the resolution calls on the Republican Party to join a campaign to overturn the law with a ballot referendum. The widely divisive issue, with myriad stakeholders, has drawn the sharpest criticism from conservative Republicans. “I guess the critical question is what makes him \ think European socialism will work any better in California than it’s worked in Europe,” said Sen. Tom McClintock, a Thousand Oaks Republican. California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim confirmed that the resolution to fight and even attempt to overturn Schwarzenegger’s plan, if necessary, will be debated by the resolutions committee and could well end up before the full delegation today. “The Republican Party is now listening to all the voices in the party, then finds where the consensus is and supports that consensus,” Sundheim said. “If you fall outside that consensus, we’ve developed a vehicle for you to have that voice heard – through committees, through the resolutions process – and we let the people vote on it.” Sundheim said he was remaining neutral on the health care resolution. “For me to make a comment on that could be perceived as trying to sway it one way or the other,” he said. Sundheim downplayed the party’s financial condition – a $4.5 million debt – as a major factor should it decide to help fund a referendum measure to overturn an approved universal health care system. Sundheim said the party can swiftly recover fiscally. The GOP resolution says, among other things, that the health care system would punish sick people; chase employers, doctors and jobs out of California; increase prices for medical services; and diminish revenue for other essential government services. The party’s standing position on health care maintains that it “opposes government-mandated health insurance plans” in favor of “health care choices that are primarily a matter of personal liberty.” Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said Republicans who dislike the governor’s proposal should agree there is a health care problem that needs to be addressed. Some elements of the governor’s health-care plan should appeal to traditional Republican constituencies, such as businesses that are paying a “hidden tax” for subsidizing uninsured Californians and facing double-digit increases in their health care premiums every year, McLear said. The governor remains open to critiques of his plan and alternate suggestions, as long as they aim for the ultimate goal of expanding coverage, McLear said. “He’s always says, `I want to hear everybody’s ideas,’ ” McLear said. “With his health care plan, he’s leading the debate on this, but he has never said his plan is the be-all and end-all. He’s trying to facilitate an open debate on this.” Staff Writer Harrison Sheppard contributed to this story. [email protected] (916) 447-9302 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But the Republican governor says “our health care system is broken” and is “poison to our economy, it’s terrible for the people and terrible for businesses.” In his latest comments on the issue, the governor said Wednesday in an interview with an L.A. radio station that the health care system is “terrible for everyone, it has to be fixed” with everyone sharing some of the financial pain. Schwarzenegger’s $12 billion plan seeks to insure nearly every uninsured Californian – about 6 million people. It would require every Californian to purchase health insurance and would expand Medi-Cal reimbursements to health providers, broaden government health insurance programs and require insurers to issue coverage to all employees. The plan would be financed primarily through a 2 percent of revenue fee on doctors, a 4 percent fee on hospitals and a percent of payroll fee on businesses that do not provide insurance for employees. Political experts said the governor, already at odds with some Democrats, does not need the formal opposition of the state Republican Party, as well. The governor already faces an array of varied and powerful stakeholders as he attempts to forge a broad coalition among groups.