California Has Options - Single Payer

March 13, 2017

 

Under the GOP law that will replace the ACA, the penalty for not having coverage will be paid to insurance companies instead of the government. This is just one troubling change.

The draft proposed by the Republicans also allows insurers to charge older Americans more for their premiums and rewrite tax law to make it easier for insurance firms to pay their executives even more inflated salaries.

The trade group that lobbies on behalf of the health insurance industry represents the largest health insurance companies in America, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, Blue Shield of California and Anthem.

Not sold on single payer yet?

The higher premiums for people in the AARP bracket can be up to five times as much as for young people. The average 64 year old can pay up to an additional $2100 dollars per year. The cap under the ACA was 3:1.

 

The legislation replaces the individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, with a penalty that is paid directly to the insurance companies instead of to the federal government. Insurers are also allowed to require a premium surcharge of 30% for any individual who loses coverage for a period of at least two months, penalizing the poor who will struggle to pay premiums.

Under the new plan, insurers can write off as a business expense an executives' salary on their taxes instead of the first $500,000. In 2009, UnitedHealth Group's Stephen Hemsley received $109 million in pay. Removing the limit on corporate pay deduction will encourage higher executive pay and generate less tax revenue that will have to be absorbed by the middle class and the poor.

As Californians we have an option. SB 562 is currently being written which will give Californians healthcare in numbers that shadow the Affordable Care Act and Covered California, where the number of uninsured in our state is at a historic low, and we’ve slowed rising health care costs.

 

From Senator Lara's post for the Healthy California Act (SB 562)

 

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 duplicationNo more out of control co-pays and high deductibles.

  • Public oversight on costs and care, not decisions made in secret

  • Managing prescription drug costs.

    “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.” – Senator Ricardo Lara

 

Click Here For More - The Intercept March 7th Article

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