Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Harris: AB 1X is unacceptable

After careful review, Lake County Democrats find the Schwarzenegger/Nunez Health Care proposal, also known as AB 1x unacceptable. It will create a harsh financial burden on low-income, working and middle-class Californians. The proposal is so complex and convoluted that it creates loopholes and is rife with opportunities for a variety of interpretations. It protects the health care insurance industry against the additional costs of the annual double-digit inflation of health care costs and places the burden of that inflation solely on consumers. The proposal consolidates extraordinary power over the financial security and health of California citizens in the hands of the California Secretary of Health and Human Services with no legislative or other governmental oversight except the governor who appoints the Secretary of Health and Human Services.


We have found no provision in the proposal that would eliminate the type of ‘denial of care’ that recently resulted in the death of 17-year-old Nataline Sarkaysian in Los Angeles. Would SB 840 have allowed her to die?


The funding mechanisms for this proposal are inadequate and tenuous at best. A large part of the funding relies on federal dollars yet to be budgeted or approved, the lease of the California Lottery and an increase in the tobacco taxes to somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 percent. The lease of the lottery will reduce the dollars for our educational system and sales of lottery tickets increase the percentage of the state’s revenues from low income Californians. Recent tobacco tax increases have demonstrated that they reduce consumption, which reduces the tax income to the state from the tax increases. Whereas the vast majority of tobacco users are low-income citizens, this tax is an additional burden on those who can least afford it.


Even if insurance company administration costs were actually capped at 15 percent, that is still 12 percent more than the 3 percent that Medicare administration costs. Why pay more for an inferior product?


We believe that government is good. We believe in good government. We believe that government should inspire, assist and protect all of its citizens equally rather than just those who contribute large campaign funds. This proposal distracts and reduces the public’s outcry for real health care reform.


Medicare is a proven and workable single payer health care insurance system.


There is an effective workable solution to California’s health care crises: SB840.


We want nothing less than the best health care insurance for all Californians.


Wanda Harris is chair of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee.


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10Aug
08.10.2022 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
PG&E regional wildfire safety webinar
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13Aug
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