Excellent health care, coming soon to CaliforniaEmployers are cutting back on benefits, Bush want to privatize and cut back on Medicare, the State budget crisis will mean a minimum of 500,000 more uninsured Californians, 25% of our children are uninsured, and many more are under-insured. Single payer makes financial sense.
by David Sheidlower and Don Bechler
Uncle Sams doctor delivers bad news
Employers are cutting back on benefits, Bush want to privatize and cut back on Medicare, the State budget crisis will mean a minimum of 500,000 more uninsured Californians, 25% of our children are uninsured, and many more are under-insured. To top it off: costs are soaring. The USA is the only industrialized nation without a national health plan, and yet in 2001, we spent over $5,000 per person on average. Thats 2-3 times as much as any other industrialized nation; and we left over 41 million Americans without coverage.
Homeless person with belongings in cart at the steps of SFs Public Health Dept. (photo: Brian Marsh)
California cure would SAVE billions
State Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) introduced single payer health care legislation this February. Single payer makes financial sense. In 2002, a State of California study (the Health Care Options Project: www.healthcareoptions.ca.gov) reached the powerful conclusion that by removing the health insurance industry from health care financing and using a single payer system (the system used by the Federal Government when it buys health care), Californians could save $7.6 billion a year while providing everyone with better services, including long term care and prescription drug coverage. The question for the other Democrats in the State legislature is, Are you for taking care of Californians or the insurance industry?
The forces against change are powerful and well financed. Green Party activists understand that we do not just win because we have good ideas, but because weve built a social movement that demands change. It is a movement of compassion and of healthy financial stewardship. It sends a message that as a society we know how to care for ourselves and for one another.
Universal or Single Payer Health Care: whats the difference?
Health insurance today is either a job perk, a poor peoples program, a senior program (Medicare), or we pay dearly for it. This many payer model could be stretched to be universal coverage but would keep insurance companies in health care. Many payer would keep draining available money from delivering health care so insurance companies could make profits. Single payer health care is not wasteful, does not siphon money off for insurance company profits and, delivers the same level of care to all classes of people. State Senator Sheila Kuehls bill SB-921 makes sense. Urge your local politicians to support single payer and SB-921.
See website www.healthcareforall.org or contact Don Bechler, chair of the San Francisco chapter of Health Care For All, at email@example.com or 415-695-7891. David Sheidlower, the Green Partys candidate for California Insurance Commissioner in 2002, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Green Focus Home
> Subscribe to Green Focus