Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More on Why Arnold-Care Is the Wrong Prescription for California's Health Care Needs

Yes, I agree with the idea of universal health care. I believe that every Californian deserves medical coverage, and quality health care. However, Arnold-Care is not universal health care. In reality, it is nothing more than "Romney-Care" on steroids!

At first, I was willing to take a look at Arnold's proposal...
But once I gave it a close examination, I just didn't like what I saw. When I saw the LA Times piece on Arnold-Care last week, I knew it was nothing but trouble.

Arnold's proposal would shift all the responsibilities and all the costs to working families, while enabling corporations to lessen the coverage that they're already offering. Arnold-Care is basically an easy prescription for his corporate buddies, but some very bitter (and ineffective!) medicine for working families looking for a real solution to their health care problems. The notion of universal health care is great, but Arnold's actual proposal REALLY, REALLY SUCKS!

OK, so you don't believe me...
Listen to the expert on health care, State Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica):

The Governor has consistently described his proposal as “universal healthcare", promised it would cover all of California’s children, and indicated that everyone---doctors, hospitals, businesses, insurance companies and consumers---would have “shared responsibility” in paying for the plan. The press has dutifully repeated his phrases, in almost every case without a modicum of analysis. The details of the proposal reveal quite a different picture. [...]

The central basis of the Governor’s plan is simply to mandate that every Californian must, by law, carry health insurance. There is no requirement that it be affordable and no minimum coverage. This means that the requirement can be met by a bare-bones policy covering only catastrophic events, with a $5,000 deductible and up to $7500 in out of pocket expenses for all the things that aren’t covered by the policy. [...]

The Governor’s proposal does not establish any minimums for the coverage benefits that must be offered. As a matter of fact, in a recent addition to the presentation of his proposal, the Governor called for more “flexibility in insurance underwriting” and repeal of “excessive government regulation”. This means he would like to roll back even the most minimal requirements now in the law for coverage but still require everyone to buy policies and pay whatever premiums are charged. [...]

The Governor has indicated he wants to provide subsidies to help families with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level ($32,000 for single parent with one child, $50,000 for family of four) fulfill their mandate to buy private insurance. They would pay up to 6% of their income for the coverage by law, which, for some, is significantly higher cost sharing than they might be paying now as Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Families with incomes slightly above the level would be required to buy insurance without subsidies.

Again, I highly recommend that you look at Senator Kuehl's critique for yourself. She does a great job of cutting through all the hype, and revealing Arnold's health care plan for the vapid piece of crap that it really is. She says it much better than I do when she explains why Arnold-Care is a terrible prescription for California's health and well-being.

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