The goal of providing affordable access to quality healthcare is noble and very complex. California has nearly 39 million residents who have different political views and perspectives. But we share a common need for basic health care that we can afford. Many want a better way to access health care and find insurance very expensive and often frustrating. How we go about improving this is serious business and requires careful consideration.
Under the Affordable Care Act, more Californians have coverage than ever. Through our employers, private insurance, Medicare, Medi-Cal, or other public coverage, 93% of Californians now have coverage. This is the lowest uninsured rate in our state's history. While far from perfect, our health care costs and insurance premiums are beginning to stabilize.
While the new Trump administration proposes to repeal or repair Obamacare (the ACA), California is preparing for the next chapter in health care reform. We can either build upon what works, or scrap everything and try something no other state in the country has ever achieved. Many believe we have made too much progress to start over. The Healthy California Act (SB 562) is a single-payer bill that would replace the ACA and all current forms of private and public health service with a single state-run government health system.
Single-payer is one method of providing healthcare for all Californians. It means all private insurance is replaced by a state government-run health care system funded largely by increases taxes.
Senate Bill 562 is The Healthy California Act, authored by CA Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, the bill aims to replace the entire health insurance system with a single-payer system, sometime referred to as Medicare-for-All. While it is sometimes compared to the Canadian or UK health care systems, it is actually quite different. Those systems are national health services which require the entire country to participate and not by a single state or province. Unlike what is being proposed for California, they also allow for private insurance or supplemental coverage if you want more than the national coverage. The proposed plan for California does not allow this, in fact it eliminates all private health insurance choices.