May 30, 2017
Senator Ricardo Lara, State Capitol, Room 5050, Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 562 (LARA and ATKINS) – SUPPORT
Feel the Bern Democratic Club, Los Angeles strongly and unanimously supports SB 562, The Healthy California Act of California. It is consistent with our club’s mission and with Senator Bernie Sanders’ progressive ideology. Our club was founded on the principle of putting people over profits, and The Healthy California Act is a perfect example of that principle in action. We feel every human being should be treated with dignity and compassion, and should get the healthcare s/he needs, regardless of whether or not that care is going to result in a profit or loss for a health insurance company. We support California leading the way for the US to join all of the other major nations in passing a single payer plan.
As you may know, when enacted, the Healthy California Act will guarantee that every resident of California will receive comprehensive healthcare services. It’s like Medicare for All. Individuals will have free choice of licensed health professionals and services. Covered benefits will include services to keep people healthy—mentally and physically— as well as those services that diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to emergency services, surgeries, and hospital stays, services such as home healthcare, day care and hospice are covered. Vision and dental care are also included. The Healthy California Act has been crafted to provide a single high standard of safe, therapeutic care for all California residents in a manner that is financially sustainable:
- Choose any provider. No more surprise bills. No out-of-pocket costs for covered services.
- Eliminates co-pays for Medicare Part B.
- Lower prescription drug costs.
- Regional planning to reduce overlap and duplication of expensive equipment and facilities.
- Provider rates which will replace and improve upon Medi-Cal rates, will be negotiated to ensure access, cost control and high-value services.
- The advances from the Affordable Care Act will be folded into the new system.
- Huge cost-savings from reduced bureaucracy. No more insurance company runaround. No more bill collectors.
- Diverse participants including ordinary citizens and representatives of labor and business, as well as various health care professionals and health policy experts, will advise and help design the Healthy California program.
- A Healthy California premium, which is higher for upper income earners, would replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles—likely resulting in significant out-of-pocket net savings.
President, Feel the Bern Democratic Club, Los Angeles