The health care crisis is hitting home for many more Californians.
The state’s uninsured population has jumped 28% just since 2007, to a record 8.2 million, according to a new study published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. As recently as 2007, there were 6.4 million uninsured Californians.
This increase occurred among all age groups including children, even though they had access to public health insurance safety-net programs. But the hardest hit were working adults in California. Job-based coverage fell to just 50 percent for adults under age 65. This means that fully half of working adults do not get health insurance from employers.
And now those seeking individual policies face premium hikes of up to 39% just announced by private insurance companies. This leaves half of all adults with the dismal prospect of buying insurance or just going without it and risking their health and the financial future of themselves and their families.
The solution to all this is the single payer, universal health care plan, California OneCare, proposed by Senator Mark Leno in Senate Bill 810.
This plan would provide comprehensive coverage to all California residents, regardless of their job or health status. It’s a publicly-financed health insurance plan that would pay all of the health care providers such as doctors, hospitals, dentists, etc., hence the term “single payer.”
Under California OneCare, everyone would be able to choose any doctor or hospital, and there would be no deductibles or co-pays or exclusions for preexisting conditions. What’s more, this plan would cost less for families, businesses and government than the current, inadequate, private insurance plans.
The goal of the California OneCare Campaign is to pass this legislation and bring single payer, universal health care to all Californians as soon as possible.
“This is going to take a social movement on the scale of all civil and human rights movements,” says Andrew McGuire, executive director of the campaign. “A powerful, coordinated grassroots movement in California will lead the way toward comprehensive health care reform across the nation.“