At our June meeting, the High Desert Young Democrats unanimously voted to endorse SB 562, the Healthy California Act. We are proud to support single payer care for all Californians, and as such will be hosting a town hall event with the senate bill’s co-author, Senator Ricardo Lara on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30pm (location TBD).
We as a club have chosen to support SB562 because our community relies heavily on the Affordable Care Act, yet still so many of our neighbors, friends, and family are under-insured if not uninsured altogether. Considering that Californians already pay more than $370 billion/year on healthcare, this is completely unacceptable. With the impending threat of ACA repeal and an insufficient if not outright harmful replacement in the form of the AHCA, we believe that as a state we can do better.
Our nation, and especially our region, faces low employment opportunities, precious few jobs that offer benefits, and millennials specifically carry more student loan debt than any other generation before us (and hopefully any other generation after us). Many live with the fear that an accident or illness will saddle them with crippling debt in addition to the debt they already struggle to pay down. By enacting single payer care, we eliminate the need to trade away financial solubility in exchange for survival.
Furthermore, by offering healthcare for all Californians, we encourage entrepreneurship by assuring that small businesses and sole proprietors are not left without care or saddled with plans that consume large portions of their income. We make sure families don’t have to choose between feeding their children or receiving life-saving care. We support labor, freeing up moneys that would otherwise go into massive group plans and allowing unions to instead negotiate for higher wages.
When enacted, the Healthy California Act will guarantee that every resident of California will receive comprehensive healthcare services. It’s like Medicare for All. Individuals will have free choice of licensed health professionals and services. Covered benefits will include services to keep people healthy—mentally and physically— as well as those services that diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to emergency services, surgeries, and hospital stays, services such as home healthcare, day care and hospice are covered. Vision and dental care are also included. The Healthy California Act has been crafted to provide a single high standard of safe, therapeutic care for all California residents in a manner that is financially sustainable:
- Choose any provider. No more surprise bills. No out-of-pocket costs for covered services.
- Eliminates co-pays for Medicare Part B.
- Lower prescription drug costs.
- Regional planning to reduce overlap and duplication of expensive equipment and facilities.
- Provider rates which will replace and improve upon Medi-Cal rates, will be negotiated to ensure access, cost control and high-value services.
- The advances from the Affordable Care Act will be folded into the new system.
- Huge cost-savings from reduced bureaucracy. No more insurance company runaround. No more bill collectors.
- Diverse participants including ordinary citizens and representatives of labor and business, as well as various health care professionals and health policy experts, will advise and help design the Healthy California program.
- A Healthy California premium, which is higher for upper income earners, would replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles—likely resulting in significant out-of-pocket net savings.
We hope you’ll join us in supporting single payer healthcare and asserting the role access to healthcare plays in the facilitation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.