Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vote YES for a California Public Health Insurance Option!

While most of the issues I discuss on this blog are related to public transportation issues, I also like to discuss and mention other issues dear to my heart.

Many of us who support single-payer health care, otherwise known as Medicare-for-All, supported a compromise during the health care reform debate called the "public option".  The public health insurance option would have been opened to everyone.  Unfortunately, the corporations who have a stranglehold on our nation's politics managed to scuttle even that.  What we have left with the Affordable Health Care Act (called "Obamacare" or "Romneycare" by its detractors) is a mandate to buy private insurance and a tax penalty if we don't beginning in 2014, without even the choice of a public health insurance option.

There is a group seeking to change this.  California and many states will have a new health insurance exchange beginning in 2014.  Consumer Watchdog, the group behind legendary Proposition 103 in 1988 that called for a 20% rollback in auto insurance rates and created an elected State Insurance Commissioner, is seeking a new proposition for November 2012 to (1) roll back health insurance rates 20%; (2) allow the State Insurance Commissioner to reject unjustified health insurance rate increases; (3) create a new statewide, open-to-everyone public health insurance option on our state's exchange.

Here's a link to Consumer Watchdog's post on this:  "Health-care-measure-seeks-public-option-rollbacks"

Sign me up.

By the way, the Affordable Health Care Act gives state's great latitude to pursue stronger health care systems in their states.  Vermont is going for single-payer health care.  "Vermont Governor Signs Single-Payer Health Care Bill into Law"

So why isn't California?  The state legislature passed single-payer health care when Gov. Schwarzenegger was in office, which he vetoed.  Why don't they pass it now with Gov. Jerry Brown in office?  Did they only pass it because they knew it wouldnt' be signed?

Here is State Senator Mark Leno's bill to bring single-payer health care in California

SB810 Fact Sheet

Call your Democratic legislators and ask them.

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