Dear California OneCare Supporters,
I live at the northeast edge of the Sacramento Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas in the world, where the beginning of spring heralds an explosion of blossoms. We look forward to it every winter and revel in it until we’re overcome by sneezing and coughing, as pollen fills the air and allergies are triggered. That floral beauty comes at a high price.
Which brings me to the expectations Americans have had for the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obamacare. Although ACA will dramatically expand Medicaid coverage and provide some other necessary improvements in health care, many health policy researchers now recognize that it is not the solution to our health care crisis. It does NOT control rising costs and, even after it is fully implemented, over 3 million Californians will still lack health care (CBO Report).
As single payer avtivists have said all along, access to health insurance is not the same as access to health care. For the uninsured, who will be mandated to purchase insurance, high co-pays and deductibles will render it too expensive since no cost controls are included in ACA. The reality is that, since the insurance industry strongly influenced the drafting of the legislation that created ACA, it follows that they will benefit the most from its implementation. In fact, they’re already looking to take advantage of loopholes that benefit them (click here).
As Californians recognize more and more that ACA is much less than the solution to our health care maze, and will cost a lot more than they expected, we have an opportunity to let them know there is a better way.
Call it single payer or call it Medicare for All Californians. Whatever we call it, now is the time to recharge our campaign and make sure that more Californians understand how it differs from ACA and, importantly, how it can build upon it.
Working with California Health Professional Student Alliance and Physicians for a National Health Plan – California, we are moving ahead with our plan to win health care justice by 2017*. We’re now enlisting other statewide organizations as partners in a broad and diverse coalition, dedicated to bringing single payer to all Californians.
There’s no single way to make this happen, so we offer different opportunities for you to show your support and build the movement:
1. Like us on Facebook. Believe it or not, this increases our visibility and public support for the movement.
2. Become a monthly donor. It’s an easy, convenient and efficient way to help the campaign. It ensures dependable monthly support that allows us to focus on what matters – strengthening the movement for a single payer health care system in California. Plus, you can ignore any future fundraising messages you receive from us – guiltfree!
3. Ask three friends to sign up on the California OneCare website (click here).
4. Follow your passion. Get together with a like-minded friend and start a OneCare Team in your community. For more information or if you need help finding others in your area who may be interested, give me a call at 530-892-1333.
By the way, guess what industry benefits from all that sneezing and coughing up my way?
That would be the Pharmaceutical Industry, another beneficiary of ACA.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to do what we ought to have done decades ago – create an affordable, cost effective health care system that covers everyone with comprehensive benefits.
Thank you for your continuing support of this important work.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors, California OneCare
* This is the date that ACA allows states to apply for a State Innovation Waiver, which will make it possible for California to set up its own single payer health care system.