California moves to create the first universal health insurance system in the United States, but hurdles remain-nationwide

On Tuesday, the Democratic Party of California took the first step to abolish the private health insurance market in the U.S.’s most populous state and replace it with a government-run plan that promised no one would deny the care needed. ..

However, the proposal to clear the legislative committee of the state legislature is still far from becoming a law. We are faced with strong opposition from the strong business interests of being too costly. And even if it becomes a law, voters will still have to approve a significant income tax hike to pay it — voting may not take place until 2024.

Still, Democrats welcomed Tuesday’s vote, rushing to start one of their long-term stalled policy goals and signaling that they would stay in the fight even during the election year. During an hour-long hearing, some legislators and advocates raided the healthcare industry, which they say has benefited the company’s profits at the expense of consumers.

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Two 38-year-old married fathers, Ady Barkan, were diagnosed with ALS six years ago and are now almost paralyzed. He testified at a hearing on Tuesday with the help of a computerized voice that spoke when typing using technology that tracks eye movements. Mr. Burkan said he fought his private insurance company to get the treatment he needed, including suing them to get a ventilator that kept him alive.

“Even the health insurance I have doesn’t cover the cost of care I need to survive,” he said.

To pay everything, the Democratic Party has introduced another bill to raise taxes on businesses and individuals by about $ 163 billion annually, according to an analysis by the California Taxpayer Association, which opposes the bill. Voters must approve the tax increase. San Jose Democrat and Proposal author Ash Kara said Tuesday that the proposal could be in 2024 before it was voted on.

The bill, which was advanced on Tuesday, will create a universal health insurance system and set its rules. It cleared the Parliamentary Health Commission with 11-3 votes. Republicans voted against it, arguing that the bill would be too expensive, pay less for doctors and nurses, and could exacerbate the shortage of health workers.

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“If government-run health care is enacted, millions of Californians will flee the state, either avoiding a new $ 163 billion annual tax or long waiting times for standard health care. To escape, “said Republican Rep. Marie Waldron. ..

Even some Democrats who voted on the bill had sharp criticism of the proposal. Inglewood Democrat Autumn Burke said advancing the bill without funding ridiculed the process.

“This invoice is now going to change the situation and has been sold to my community because it’s free, and none of them are true,” she said.

A group of companies led by the California Chamber of Commerce said the government-run health care system is so expensive that tax increases are not yet enough to pay everything. According to an analysis by the Healthy California for All Commissions, California’s total health care costs totaled $ 399.2 billion in 2018, accounting for 13.2% of the state’s gross domestic product.

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Preston Young, a policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, said:

Kara, a Democrat of San Jose and the author of the proposal, said he knew that opponents would focus on the cost of the plan. But he said the fact that Californians have already paid “the highest health tax in the world” distracts the debate.

“It can be called premiums, deductions, out-of-pocket costs, and medical refusals,” Kara said, saying that none of these costs exist under the universal health insurance system. “It’s obvious as the day they’re freaking out, and it’s no wonder that too many people find it helpless.”

California’s healthcare system is paid by multiple organizations such as patients, insurance companies, employers and governments. However, the universal health insurance system will be paid by the government, a single organization called a “single payer.”

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The single payer system has been a staple of California’s progressive political rhetoric for decades. But with most people paying for private health insurance through work, it’s not easy to achieve. In 1994, voters overwhelmingly rejected the voting initiative that would build a universal health insurance system. Another attempt passed the State Senate in 2017, but was never voted in the Legislature.

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Questions about payment methods for a single payer system destined for previous plans. In 2011, Vermont established the country’s first universal health insurance system. However, state officials said they couldn’t afford it, so they abandoned it three years later.

Governor Gavin Newsom promised to do that when he ran for governor in 2018, and voters elected him in a landslide. However, for the first three years of his inauguration, Newsom has focused on making health insurance available to everyone in California. The strategy he said involves the “spirit” of a single payer system.

“When you are governor, you have to engage in business’how’,” Newsom said. “I believe in a single payer funding model. The” method “at the state level is a question that needs to be answered carefully. “

© 2022 The Canadian Press

California moves to create the first universal health insurance system in the United States, but hurdles remain-nationwide

Source link California moves to create the first universal health insurance system in the United States, but hurdles remain-nationwide

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