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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Insure the Human Right to Health
The plan to deny medical care to millions of Affordable Care Act subscribers (17 million would become uninsured next year alone) and reinstitute barriers to the hard-to-insure has collapsed, for now, but the threat to “expendable” citizens continues.
Access to health care is a human right. "Here, in the richest country on earth, this social contract is broken," says Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Chief Medical Officer, Partners in Health, "but in the United States, basic rights like health care, education, and even the right to vote are under increasingly grave threats. Even as we speak, the federal government is selling each pillar of our social contract and our human rights to the highest bidder. Enough is enough. Health is a right -- not a commodity, not a privilege."
"A 'single-payer' system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan already exists -- for seniors. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients," says Healthcare-NOW!
Under a proposed single-payer plan the state would cover most health costs for all California residents, regardless of immigration status. The system would do away with premiums, copayments and deductibles. Ostensibly, the program would be financed by tax increases, although a specific source of tax revenue was not identified in the bill.
"Single-payer healthcare for California is, in fact, very doable," urges University of Massachusetts professor Robert Pollin, coauthor of Economic Analysis of the Healthy California Single-Payer Health Care Proposal.