Marie Varenya asks California OneCare:
I don’t understand how the new healthcare law that got passed now is any improvement. Mandatory insurance? How can people who are laid off or on minimum wages pay their monthly mandatory dues to the insurance company? What happens with those people? Are they denied any medical help?
Only removing the in-between money-making insurance companies can financially improve the situation. If the rich upper-class wants special treatment, they can pay extra for some private, luxury care.
Your assessment of the new federal healthcare bill is correct. While there are subsidies built into the new bill that would provide a sliding scale of financial support for poor and middle class wage earners, it is clear that the costs of the mandatory private insurance policies will still be more than many people can pay, especially when you figure in the cost of deductibles.
And while federal law will still require that anyone who shows up at an emergency room must be treated, it is unlikely that the new bill will alleviate the problem of overcrowded emergency rooms. What’s more, when the new system goes into effect in 2014, it will still leave more than 20 million people uninsured.
You are also correct that only by removing private insurance companies from the system will we be able to provide affordable, comprehensive coverage for everyone. That’s the whole idea of single payer, California OneCare. It would eliminate private insurance companies altogether.
Premiums for California OneCare would be based upon one’s ability to pay in the form of a progressive tax, which, for 90 percent of us, would be less than we are paying now for inadequate coverage. People who are well-off financially will be able to acquire additional coverage if they wish, but everyone would be covered comprehensively, so additional insurance would be unnecessary.
Thank you for your comments, and for your support of California OneCare.
Don Schroeder, Co-Chair