California Considering A State Health System

Feb 17, 2017 (San Diego) Senate Bill 562 (Californians for a Healthy California Act) were introduced by State Senator Toni Atkins (D-39) and Senator Ricardo Lara (D-33) This bill is one way for the state to deal with the threats to the Affordable Care Act in Washington.

Senator Lara stated that “Healthy California gives everyone insurance because everyone has a right to health care. Trump and the Republicans don’t get to pick the health care winners and losers, and we’ll never get to 100% health care in California unless we lead.”

Senator Atkins said that: “Access to affordable and quality health care is not only critical, it should be a right for everyone in California. In light of threats to the Affordable Care Act, it’s important that we look at all options to maintain and expand access to health care. The Healthy California Act is an essential part of that conversation.”

There are several reasons for this.  Under the Affordable Care Act and Covered California, the number of uninsured in the state is at a historic low, and health care costs are not rising as fast.Last year Governor Brown signed Senator Lara’s Health4All Kids (SB 4), and the 2017-18 budget proposal includes $279.5 million to cover 185,000 children regardless of their immigration status. But a lack of insurance still affects immigrant communities, rural California, working families and young people.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, they have not proposed a plan to replace it. President Trump’s executive order on repealing the Affordable Care Act states that the federal government should “provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.” This bill will give the state that flexibility.

Healthy California Highlights:

  • Every California resident has one plan and more choice. No more plan-switching or guesswork when insurance rates or plans change.
  • You pick your doctor, not health insurers
  • Clinicians make decisions about care, not computers
  • By pooling health care funds in a publicly-run fund we get the bargaining power of the seventh largest economy.
  • We cut out insurance company waste and duplication
  • No more out of control co-pays and high deductibles
  • Public oversight of costs and care, not decisions made in secret
  • Managing prescription drug costs

This bill is sponsored by the California Nurses Association.

“We need to have this conversation now while hundreds of thousands of people are speaking out in support of health care,” said Senator Lara. “With Republicans on the brink of rolling back health care it’s time for California to lead. I look forward to bringing a bill that Californians can support and the governor will sign.” Lara said.

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