Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Curry and Harris: Support single payer health care

The American people do not allow the delivery of our police and fire services services that protect the health, welfare and safety of our citizens to be owned and controlled by corporations, interested only in their shareholders bottom line. These institutions do not serve citizens only if they can pay individually for the privilege of being protected. Our communities share the costs of these services, for the good of all, not one by one through a profit taking middle man. Why, then, do we accept a health care system, rationed by corporations, to deliver our health care financing system?

The evidence is clear that our current, badly fragmented, private insurance based, health care finance system does not provide universal health care and produces far less than optimal health care outcomes.

The California Universal Health Care Act (SB 840 – Kuehl) will provide lifetime health care insurance for all California residents. This act will provide coverage including all care prescribed by the patient’s health care provider that meets accepted standards of care and practice and including hospital, medical, surgical, mental health; dental and vision care; prescription drugs and medical equipment, diagnostic testing, and hospice care.

Our current private insurance system provides unnecessarily high costs to consumers and providers and incorporates self contained cost spirals within the system that drive up costs at a far higher rate than overall inflation.

Sen. Keuhl’s bill will produce lower cost for consumers and employers by consolidating hundreds of insurance plans, both private and public, into one comprehensive insurance plan risk pool, thereby saving the state, patients and providers billions of dollars each year by dramatically reducing administrative costs; by eliminating stock market pressures for exceptional profit taking from the corporations who control our health care; by reducing employer costs for health care insurance and increasing their competitiveness; by reducing or eliminating inconsistencies and loopholes in legislation that allow fraud, abuse and general and specific tax breaks and regulatory relief to these corporations; by achieving economies of scale in purchasing prescription drugs, equipment devices, supplies and services and by providing a healthier workforce for employers and fewer health related lost work hours and increased productivity.

Our California legislators in Sacramento, Assemblywoman Patty Berg and state Sen. Pat Wiggins are co-authors of Sen. Kuehl’s bill.

We appreciate their leadership on this issue. We too recognize that the primary factor in our high and rising health care costs are the private health care finance insurance companies. We trust that our representatives in the state legislature will not accept any plan from the governor or other legislators that does not replace the current insurance companies with a government agency financed single payer insurance plan. This issue is critical to their Lake County constituents as well as all Californians.

Rebecca Curry of Kelseyville chairs the Lake County Democratic Club; Wanda Harris of Hidden Valley Lake chairs the Lake County Democratic Central Committee.


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