Single-payer insurance plan moves ahead

January 13, 2012

A Democrat-sponsored effort to initiate single-payer health coverage in California is under the legislative microscope next week in Sacramento hearings.

Coauthored by 29 members of the Senate, the measure, SB 810, by Sen Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would create the California Healthcare System, to “provide health care to all California residents,” according to the legislation’s wording. It also proposes penalties to residents and businesses choosing not to insure themselves.

Preliminary cost analyses suggest the system would set taxpayers back $200 billion annually, with these costs “offset by an unknown extent of re-direction of revenues from existing health coverage programs,” according to a legislative committee review.

The plan goes before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday. When the bill passed that body’s Health Committee, Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) voted against it.

Part of the proposal as currently written calls for it to take effect only when the state’s Health and Human Services Agency secretary “determines that adequate funding is available to implement it.”

Leno contends his measure will “enact a modern universal health care system in California… combining public financing and competitive private health care delivery.”

The lawmaker said the current system “is fragmented, administratively complex and clinically wasteful, leading to billions of dollars being  diverted annually away from direct medical care and driving  unaffordable premium increases.”


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blade

Make Monday a little brighter for the office staff of a Dem holdout on the Appropriations Committee, State Senator Christine Kehoe. Ask for Ted the Staffer and tell him that you’re aware that SB 810 is fiscally responsible because it must be proven that it will pay for itself by everybody’s very own personal premiums and approved by 2/3rds of the legislature. Phone: (916) 651-4039 Fax: (916) 327-2188. I would add “Cut the crap, Ted” but that’s just me.


hotdog

Terrific, I’ll call. How about the other readers?


Typoqueen

You bet!


oto

If Bonnie Lowenthal is a co-author, it is definitely worth a reading. Lowenthal co-authored a bill that gave whistleblower protection to state trial court employees who complained about fraud, waste, and abuse in our state courts. She had an uphill battle getting this law passed, but she and a few of her colleagues did just that. Who would’ve thought anything so “revolutionary” could come out of Orange County!?


Lowenthal is listed as a co-author of the bill mentioned by Ted Slanders (SB 810,) for which a cite has been provided to the text of the latest version of the bill.


Duty calls, loyal citizens! Let’s put out thinking caps on and read, read, read!


shelworth

You know we could save a lot of money if only the people who needed real medical care got it, instead of all the people who see prescription drugs advertized on TV and say “hey, I need that!”. Eat right and exercise, don’t listen to the charlatans. Oh yeah, and don’t take antibiotics when all you have is the sniffles!


oto

Yeah, and don’t drink water…..


srichison

“It also proposes penalties to residents and businesses choosing not to insure themselves.”


If this is true, the plan is nothing more than a total waste of everyone’s tax dollars. If it’s better than what I can do on my own, I will gladly sign up. If it isn’t, then the state is intruding where they have no business intruding.


hotdog

Wish you made perfect sense but you don’t. This concept will be better than others but only if we all play, not just the sick or soon to be.

We don’t have to just insure our 18-24 year old kids when driving, since they are the high risk group. No, we all have to play.


srichison

C’mon! Only people who want to register a car are required to have auto insurance. Have a drivers license but don’t own a car? Don’t have to get auto insurance. Even if you own a car and buy auto insurance, you can shop and get the best deal for yourself. Big difference. The analogy doesn’t work.


The Gimlet Eye

“Have to” implies a police state.


oto

If you can find private insurance that costs less than a hundred and seventy-five dollars a month for a single person, my hat is off to you, and I want to know what that insurance is, and what it covers.


I am ready to learn from the bloggers here, like sloweb and srichison, exactly what health care private insurance they believe is “affordable.”


What private health care insurance can you find that is “affordable” to someone paying rent, and earning minimum wage forty hours a week?


I was a teacher at a church and an administrator of a K-6th grade program. Churches provide NO benefits to their workers, as far as I know. I got no health insurance. So, what do I do? I was employed full time and was not just lying around, waiting to be taken care of.


So, at minimum wage (for California, that’s 8.00/hr. For the Feds, it’s 7.25/hr. For restaurant workers –overwhelmingly FEMALE,– it is 2.13 AN HOUR!


That’s right, folks, TWO DOLLARS AND THIRTEEN CENTS PER HOUR.


The days of living on tips is over, because waitresses are often expected to pay a percentage of their tips to the MALE cooks who do not take out taxes for this money. It is the waitress WHO TIPS THEM who is required to pay the taxes on those tips.


The taxes used to be 8% of the total tips taken in. I bet they have to take out a little more now, maybe 9%? So. Let’s get out the calculator and let’s keep it simple….$8.00/hr X 40hrs/wk=$320.00 a week gross wages X 4 weeks=$1,280.00/month gross wages.


$1,280.00 minus 7.5% for workers comp=1280-96=1184. Let’s say no other taxes are taken out, leaving $1,184.00 as the worker’s MONTHLY wage.


Let’s say the worker is single and ONLY pays $700.00 a month for a studio apartment. (Try to find a studio apartment for $700.00 a month. I’m being generous here….) That leaves, $1,184.00 minus $700=$484.00 per month for food, gas, electric (assuming water and trash are paid by the landlord,) phone, Internet connection, laundry, transportation, (car insurance and upkeep if they cannot get to work by public transporation because they live out of SLO,) and forget any discretionary spending like medical supplies….Tell me sloweb, what “private insurance” can this full-time worker afford for he/rself, much less for a child?


NAME ANY KIND OF PRIVATE INSURANCE A MINIMUM WAGE FULL TIME WORKER CAN AFFORD?


sloweb

Oto, many people (I for one) were glad to see HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts) and High Deductible Insurance Policies come on the market several years ago. Now, if they would start allowing competition across state lines………


If you are not familiar with these, you might want to look into them


BTW, if you think you are paying too high of rent, you have options. You could move to another location. California is amongst the highest cost of living locations, and within, SLO is near the top (I believe).


And if you think you are not making enough money, find a new field. Conscientious, hard working people are ALWAYS in demand regardless of the economy. Ask any employer. Whining, give-a-token-effort, lazy workers (I am, by no means, saying that you are one) that have a sense of entitlement are a dime a dozen. Ask any employer.


What I am saying is that you have options and choices. The danger comes when you lose the options and choices.


The Gimlet Eye

That’s the problem; socialized medicine cannot POSSIBLY be better than “what you can do on your own.”


Typoqueen

Why not? Do you have anything to back that up or is that just your opinion? When you say “cannot POSSIBLY” that must mean that you have proof. Read the post about Taiwan.


The Gimlet Eye

Links? Oh, BS to your links! You never pay the slightest attention to them, anyway. Do you own research!


Why not? What the hell do you think we have “free markets” for? Because they are SUPERIOR to the mess gubmint would make of them if we didn’t have them! Gubmint cannot calculate prices, cannot keep track of the infinite information of the economic universe, cannot “plan” anything except a very limited set of public interest items which cannot easily be handled in any other way.


“Socialized” whatever is not an answer to ANYTHING! It is a recipe for suicide! That’s what you are flirting with right now, suicide! Help yourself, but don’t expect me or anybody else on earth to join you!


Gubmint is for tasks which people cannot easily do on their own. Medical care does not qualify. For the poor, charity funded by the 1% hospitals can easily handle their needs. This is an incredibly rich country1


Medical care is already one of the most overregulated industries in the country. To increase this regulation is not going to help anybody but the crony collectivists who seek nothing but to indulge their lust for power.


You seem to think that “free markets” are nothing more than shooting galleries of the poor with the 1% pulling the triggers. The shooting gallery is the crony collectivist system that we have now. Had we the republic that we were promised originally, we would not be having these problem or this debate.


blade

This article is OK but leaves out some info. The public, not-for-profit health plan that is proposed must include prescription medications, dental, vision, mental health, durable medical equipment in addition to professional care and hospitalization. If the bill passes a study will be done to determine how much it’s going cost as a percentage of income, do that cost is on a sliding scale. A study done in 2005 showed that the health plan would cost individuals 4% of pre-tax income. No annual deductibles, no co-pays., no caps. As an example, if I make $50K in a year, my total health costs would be capped at $2K no matter what happened to me or my kids. The legislature would have to approve the premium amount that’s recommended by the study by 2/3rds vote.


blade

*so that cost is on a sliding scale.* I guess I should be known as “typo-king” :-)


oto

blade, if what you are saying is true, where do I sign up!? I’m ready!


Typoqueen

Fingers crossed! This would be wonderful, for my family it would be a dream come true. I broke my foot a few years ago and didn’t go to the doc. I broke my toe,,no biggie but I didn’t go. I just owe too much in medical bills, I need to pay off what I already owe, which is quite a bit. One day I hope that my family can get proper medical care.


The only thing lacking in all this discussion of medical care on the state level and national level is dental care. Most parents I know no longer go every year for check ups, thank goodness for good electric tooth brushes. I have a teen now that needs his/her wisdom teeth pulled, I dread it because of the cost. I’ve already had 6 K in his/her mouth in orthodontics alone. But I agree with the dog about Blakeslee, he a good guy but he still has that repub blood in him.


I don’t hate too many things but I HATE private medical insurance companies. I hope they all go out of business. The CEOs should be in prison, they are the lowest of low, they are pond scum.


The Gimlet Eye

You might as well wish for the entire private sector to go out of business! What you say about the “pond scum” may very well be true, but they are not any worse than the “pond scum” bureaucrats in the gd gubmint with whom they work hand in glove.


Typoqueen

Yes, they are worse than the govt.. We can fire our govt. we can’t fire the insurance companies.


The Gimlet Eye

Really? I don’t see anybody in the gubmint getting fired! How about after 9/11? Did you see anybody get fired for all the failures to defend the targets? In fact, the reason was that 9/11 was an inside job.


How about the “missing money,” $2.3 TRILLION from the DOD? Have you seen anybody get fired or even investigated for that? The list goes on and on and on…….and nobody has been fired or investigated excepted for the small potatoes.


How about the deliberate demolition of BLDG 7 on 9/11? Did you see anybody get fired for that?


How about when Arnold took over as governator of CA, did you see anybody get fired for all the waste and abuse that he had campaigned against?


BS!


Typoqueen

Condi Rice and Bush should have been fired over 9/11. They could have been fired but you people decided to vote him back in, that was by your choice. The majority decided to overlook Bush’s crimes. I’m not getting into conspiracy theories but govt. workers get fired all the time. I didn’t elect the CEO of Blue Cross and we can’t have him impeached.


The Gimlet Eye

Of course they should have been fired! Actually, they should both be in jail right now for treason! But they WEREN’T and AREN’T! Why?


“You people”??? What people are you talking about? As I said, GWB should be in jail right now for his crimes involving 9/11.


Government workers do not get fired “all the time.” When was the last time that a president was impeached? Was he removed from office? Was any president ever removed from office? Nixon resigned, but he was not impeached. The no good sob deserved what he got, but he was a public official, and extremely difficult to remove. It took two years. Was anybody fired or prosecuted for 9/11? No! Why not?


Why do you trust the welfare state over the “free market”? Explain this to me. I don’t believe that the welfare state gives a good gd about my “welfare,” or yours. That is preposterous!


We are talking two different languages here. At this moment, we do not have a true “free market.” If we did, we would not be having these current problems. We are suffering with “crony collectivism.” That’s not a free market!


Public officials use their legal powers to curry favor with private sector brigands and thieves. That’s your “gubmint” at work. In other words, they commit crimes under the color of law with the help of the rich and powerful. Well fancy that!


sloweb

Actually Typo, you can fire your insurance company. You can competitive shop and if you don’t like how you are treated by one company, you can switch. If enough people quit company A, they either change or go out of business. That is called the free market system. The more free market system you have the better service, lower prices you get – examples of that are all around you!


Not being able to shop healthcare across state lines is a problem.One that I hope get’s remedied soon.


Sure they are slime balls, but IMO not much worse than our slime ball politicians. The only thing that keeps them (and others) accountable ultimately is the free market system. Moving even further away from the free market system will only make things worse.


Typoqueen

Oh pleeeezz, trust me if I could quit using Blue Cross I would. They have such a bad name that they are trying to clean up their reputation by changing their name to ‘Anthem’ but that’s just pearls on a pig.


I can’t quit, it’s like blackmail. I can’t even afford the the insurance I have with BC but they are the cheapest so I must use them. I don’t have the income at this time to pay more more. Every payment I make to them is like blood money. They are the largest in Ca so they hold all the cards. If I was wealthy then I could switch but in reality, they’re all the same so it really doesn’t matter. If we shop accross state lines it we will still be paying blood money to these thieves. We need to cut out the middle man, get rid of them. But that being said, in countries that have universal health care they do also have private insurance. I don’t believe that we should get rid of private insurance, I would agree that it wouldn’t be right to do that. Where we disagree is that I believe that everyone should a pay a tax for public health care, just as in the UK if you choose to add private insurance on top of that then fine.


The Gimlet Eye

“they hold all the cards” because you are living in a criminal system.


“Crony capitalism” is not a free market!


If we had a true free market, you would not have this problem.


slobody

Sam shouldn’t have voted. He has a conflict of interest. His company sells such insurance. Of course he’s against single payer.


Typoqueen

Wow, good point.


As the world turns

As a legislator, Blakeslee has government paid health insurance for himself and his family. Why should he care about people who cannot afford health insurance.


danika

Do you have any idea how much money can be made in insurance? Extended family members do not get government paid health insurance. That’s why.


As the world turns

Do you have any idea how much it costs taxpayers to supplement and/or pay for people who get sick and do not have health care? Or, how much taxpayers are paying to for government employees’ (and their family members) health care? Why should we even consider paying for extended family members?


There are many who have government jobs, such as Blakeslee, who can afford to pay his own health care but we taxpayers are supplementing them. Many who do not have government jobs are left with no insurance but paying for those working for government (in addition to government workers collecting excellent salaries and benefits).

Something is wrong with this system.


Typoqueen

Well said.


hotdog

I forgot to say before that even though our Sam is a pretty good republican, he is a republican. It is a shame on him he voted against it. I wonder if he is like so many others who love to see the masses ruined by outrageous health care costs, laughing at the many who have to decide between medicine and food, and ensuring an economic bonanza for the fat cats in the health industry preying on the public like hyenas and jackals.


Ted Slanders

hotdog,


What the hell are you doing interjecting actual facts? The Republican faction within this forum cannot handle facts, remember? Don’t you realize that they get their talking points from Faux News?


They don’t give a damn if what you stated is actually happening! They don’t care about what Jesus said about the poor and needy, as shown ad infinitum by me with my factual biblical passages where the majority remain silent to them to save face!


Posts like yours can scare them away, and then we won’t have any comedy relief by watching them try in vain to go against the principles of the bible, and helping their fellow man!


hotdog

This effort is not new, every previous attempt to get a decent health care system has been vetoed by Republican Governors. Now we have a good chance to create a model plan. Instead of throwing rocks at it see if you can improve it.


danika

“Fragmented, administratively complex and clinically wasteful”…pretty much defines the result of ANYTHING the State tries to fix…


Ted Slanders

danika,


The term “anything” implies that it’s “everything!” Do you have seven or eight examples of how the state recently has screwed up in this respect?


danika

TS, if I had meant to say “everything” I would have typed the word. Do you want the list of State screw up alphabetically, numerically, or categorically?


Ted Slanders

danika,


Make it easy on yourself, you choose!


As the world turns

Excellent points Ted.


danika

Ted, Ted, Ted…realizing you love opportunity to break out into a sermon, I will refrain from feeding you such opportunity. That is making it easy on everyone here.


slobody

Like Romneycare.


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