Sit down before you read this next section. You're going to be shocked...
The California Legislature, both the Senate and the House, have passed Senate Bill 840, which in effect, will make it illegal to sell health insurance within the State of California. The bill is heading for the Governor's desk.
I have, below, copied a section from a website for a group called "Health Care For All," where you can go to get even more information about SB840. The section is self-explanatory.
A bill creating universal healthcare through a publicly financed administration in California, authored by Senator Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, was introduced to the Senate in February, 2005. A copy of the bill is now available from the legislature. Download bill here. For ease of use, get our Table of Contents for the bill.
Available for download is a comprehensive Fact Sheet from Senator Kuehl's office. We offer a 10-page Word document about the Features of SB 840. Also available is a shorter summary, SB 840 Summary. See also a Fact Sheet in Spanish.
Principal workers on this bill are consultant Judy Spelman and Senate staff member Sara Rogers.
You can download a list of the co-authors for SB 840.
See a list of endorsing organizations that support SB 840. See a recent statement by the League of Women Voters- California showing their position on this bill.
The bill incorporates the following features:
Security - Everyone is covered. No one will ever lose coverage for any reason.
Choice - Everyone can choose their doctors and other providers. Under this single payer plan, health care delivery is in the private sector.
Comprehensive Benefits - Everyone has full benefits that include prescription drug coverage and mental health care.
High Quality - Doctors and patients, not administrators, make medical decisions. Hospitals can afford safe staffing levels for registered nurses. Primary and preventive care are priorities.
Efficient Administration - Huge savings result from removing insurance companies from health care. Provider and patient paper work is slashed.
Fair Cost sharing - Employers and employees pay a modest health care premium, which is less than most pay now.
Fair Reimbursement - Providers receive fair and full compensation for their services.
Cost Controls - Health care inflation is controlled by efficient administration, global health care budgets, bulk purchases of drugs and durable medical equipment, coordination of capital expenditures, and linkage to growth of the State Gross Domestic Product.
I am an Orange County California Conservative Republican. SB840 is sponsored by Liberal Democrats and I wholly support it. Absolutely. It can't happen soon enough. I applaud the bill's sponsor, Senator Sheila Kuehl and her staff for their efforts.
Wow! This sounds too good to be true! If it works as well as it sounds, I'll have to move to CA and have Dr. S oversee my Lyme condition!
Posted by Truthfinder (Member # 8512) on :
Wow, this is pretty interesting. I've been leery of health care being mamaged by ANY governmental entity here in the U.S. simply because they have such a lousy track record in running any kind of business.
HOWEVER, we all know that SOMETHING has got to change in the system of health care in our country, or we are all doomed.
I wonder when this is supposed to be implemented? I didn't see that anywhere in the article.
Posted by lymedad (Member # 8074) on :
California SB840 was vetoed by Arnold Swartzeneggar (the governor) on September 5, 2006.
This government health insurance is a real nightmare waiting for a place to happen.
Can you imagine a government bureaucrat being in charge of determining which medical procedure will be covered and which one won't.
Can you imagine a government entity being able to determine which protocols are allowed and which aren't - how 'bout a govt agency like the CDC determining long-term antibiotics are not a suitable treatment for Chronic Lyme disease.
I'd rather take my chances with private health care, at least I'll be able to take them to court. Try taking the state of California to court if they decide not to cover our LLMDs protocol for Lyme !!!! NO THANKS !!!
[ 27. November 2006, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: lymedad ]
Posted by Michelle M (Member # 7200) on :
The "Governator" has pocketed so many millions of dollars in campaign contributions from insurance companies that his veto hardly comes as a surprise.
I'm glad you can still afford private health insurance. Seven million Californians cannot. And if you have lyme disease, you ain't gettin' it anytime soon.
The Bill was NOT going to change which doctor you went to or what your treatment consisted of. You still retained choice. What it would have done is to cut the current 35-40% of every dollar which currently goes to administrative costs down to 5%, saving the state an estimated $8 billion in the first year.
The best way to really get to the heart of any Bill without being a political science wizard is to simply follow the money. Find out who supports it and who opposes it and you will learn much about the bill itself.
SB840 supporters: anti-poverty groups, disabled people, League of Women Voters, NAACP, NOW, American Civil Liberties Union, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California teachers associations, nursing associations, numerous homeless groups..the list goes on, over 500.
SB840 opponents: Aetna Insurance, Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, California Bankers Association, HealthNet, American Specialty Health Plans, Nat'l Assn. of Insurance and Financial Advisors, California Right-to-Life Committee, and various chambers of commerce.
It's my hope this will find its way to a ballot measure, where Californians who aren't owned by insurance companies can decide.
Posted by lymedad (Member # 8074) on :
I don't want to get this into a political war, but I'm not owned by any health insurance company. I am, however, an American who likes his freedoms. I resent government intervention into my private life, especially when it could adversely effect my family's health care.
My daughter's health insurance has refused to pay for any of her Lyme related health care for over a year now. Since then all of her medical bills relative to Lyme disease has been paid out of my savings account (and believe me it's getting really low).
I do however want to have a choice as to which doctors I'm able to have my daughter see and I want to make sure our LLMD can still practise his brand of medicine without government intervention.
I've also read the details of the proposed legislation and I can't find where it guarantees that a bureaucrat won't be in charge of setting the guidelines for the type of care my daughter will receive under this type of state health insurance.
Additionally, having a government entity decide which pharmaceuticals can be prescribed for my family, is not my idea of good health care.
We currently have a law in California that allows our doctors to practise medicine the way they see fit. Government control could take that away.
Beyond all of that, to think that this type of state-controlled health care will be paid out of existing state moneys is a pure pipe-dream.
Not my idea of a free country.
Posted by trails (Member # 1620) on :
So if this was to ever really happen, what would happen to the people (like my partner's parents) who do not currently LIVE in CA but whose insurance is through CA. State Retiree. Calpers. just curious.....anyone know?
Posted by lymedad (Member # 8074) on :
All persons eligible for health benefits from California employers but who are working in another jurisdiction shall be eligible for health benefits under this division providing that they make payments equivalent to the payments they would be required to make if they were residing in California.
(a) All persons who under an employer-employee contract are eligible for retiree medical benefits, including retirees who elect to reside outside of California, shall remain eligible for those benefits providing that the contractually mandated payments for those benefits are made to the California Health Care Fund, which shall assume financial responsibility for care provided under the terms of the contract.
(b) The commissioner may establish financial arrangements with states and foreign countries in order to facilitate meeting the terms of the contracts described in subdivision (a), except that payments for care provided by non-California providers to California retirees shall be reimbursed at rates established by the commissioner.