While California legislation seeking a “Medicare for all” health plan died in the current session, proponents are reviving the idea on the state and national levels.
Two trade groups for and against single-payer health care in the Golden State will be debating the matter at the Business Journal’s Health Care Conference in Santa Rosa on Friday. They lay groundwork for their positions in articles linked below.
State Senate Bill 562, The Healthy California Act, was introduced this year, but the state Assembly speaker pulled it from consideration in June. Anthony Rendon called the act woefully inadequate. That sparked protests through the state, some organized by the California Nurses Association.
“In health care policy, those factors businesses value most — stability, predictability of costs, efficiency, an end to burdensome administration — can be best achieved in California if we take control of our health care system finances through a “single-payer” that will guarantee health care for all Californians,” wrote Michael Lighty, director of public policy, California Nurses Association. (Read more about why he supports it.)
David Fear Jr., president-elect of the California Association of Health Underwriters, argues that costs of such a government-run system in California would be overwhelming.
“As an association representing health insurance agents in California, we understand the importance of health care coverage and affordability of that coverage. However, we believe the negative impacts that SB 562 would have on the health insurance marketplace and the overall economy in California significantly outweigh the benefits of creating a universal single-payer government-run program,” Fear wrote. (Read more about why he opposes it.) “Agents are also concerned that SB 562 would cause those currently insured to lose their health care coverage and have it replaced with a new benefit structure determined by what government feels it can afford, not on what the consumer may want or need.”
Health Care Conference
Friday, July 28, 8–11:30 a.m.
Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa, 170 Railroad St., Santa Rosa
$70 per person or $715 for a table of 10