Health Care for All Rally

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Health Care for All Rally
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By Robert Bernstein

Nearly 3 million Californians do not have health insurance today. This, even with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being passed 11 years ago.

California Assembly Bill 1400 would solve this problem once and for all. It would create a true universal health care system in California. A system that would cost less than our current broken system, yet it would cover everyone.

This past weekend a rally and march was held by Health Care for All and other organizations to support this bill. Notably, the purpose of the rally was to ask people to contact our California State Senator Monique Limon and our California Assembly Member Steve Bennett to ask them to fight to pass this bill.

Here are my photos and videos of this event.

Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo was the keynote speaker at the event. Here is her speech along with comments by event organizer John Enrico Douglas:

News Channel 3/12 reporter Ryan Fish was on hand to cover the event for local television.

Here you can watch their story:

The group gathered in front of the Courthouse as Douglas prepared people for the march:

Here the marchers left the Courthouse. In the lead was UCSB organizer Taylor Clark who explained that universal health care is a matter of basic justice. His banner simply consisted of this quote from Dr Martin Luther King:

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

The marchers gathered in front of the office of Assembly Member Steve Bennett:

This poster explains what the bill is up against: The powerful and profitable health insurance industry. An industry with an overhead of 20-25% that pays its executives millions a year. And profits by denying care to those in need.

The march continued down State Street

As curious street side diners looked on.

The group continued over to the offices of State Senator Monique Limon.

The couple on the right in this photo are Bill and Carole Marks. They started working on this issue in 1994 when Proposition 186 was on the ballot. That would have done universal health care, but was faced with an onslaught of insurance industry disinformation advertising. I was also involved in that effort. A lot has been learned over the years since then. Including a pandemic which shows how broken our current system still is.

Here is the official full text of the bill AB1400. The opening page gives a Legislative Digest summary explanation of what the bill does and how it will work.

And here is information from the organization Health Care for All California of how to get involved in supporting this bill: https://healthcareforall.org/category/ab-1400/

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Chip of SB Apr 21, 2021 09:49 AM
Health Care for All Rally

The elephant in the room is the cost of healthcare and health insurance. We should be asking why it is so expensive, not how to pay for it or who should pay for it. Healthcare costs have been increasing at about 10% per year. This exponential growth is unsustainable and something has to give. Why can’t a hospital give you a quote for a procedure? Why do different people have to pay different amounts for the same drug or service? Why has “health insurance” become little more than a protection racket instead of a low cost way to protect against a catastrophic or unforeseen event? The answer is that our healthcare system and the entities that are supposed to regulate it are corrupt. The insurance and healthcare industries have achieved total regulatory capture and engage in egregious anti-competitive business practices, all in violation of 15 usc chapter 1, with impunity. As a result, healthcare costs now consume close to 50% of the federal budget and are rising rapidly. Healthcare costs are also rising rapidly for employers, which means employees take home less and less of what their employer spends on them. The insurance and healthcare industries are literally sucking the life out of our economy. The solution is to bring the costs under control. Unless we do that, we will all suffer regardless of who is forced to foot the bill.

UCSB98 Apr 21, 2021 05:06 PM
Health Care for All Rally

We can't reduce cost until we have a single payer or universal care available to all... The single payer will take negotiating power away from pharmaceuticals and providing universal care to all allows people to go to their doctors regularity to avoid sudden big health problems that can be diagnosed and treated sooner

Channelfog Apr 21, 2021 08:45 AM
Health Care for All Rally

$20K/yr for 2 healthy adults was Blur Shield extortion and what finallyt drove us to sell and leave the U.S. In Uruguay everyone is treated in the public hospitals regardless of ability to pay. No one is turned to the street. It is decent care, and many pay a private "mutualista" for further insurance. We pay less than $2K to bring our coverage up to what we had in CA. Co-pays are insignificant. Pharma is not allowed to advertise here so no one is wondering "if the purple pill is right for them". Most drugs are generic and so costs are reasonable. If a country of only 3.6 million can do all this, why can't the U.S.? (rhetorical question)

UCSB98 Apr 21, 2021 05:11 PM
Health Care for All Rally

When you do the math, universal healthcare actually ends up costing the people less... Just like when saskatchewan was the first canadian province to start universal healthcare in Canada, California can lead this nation. If Canada can do it, why can't we? If Australia can do it, why can't we? If Japan, Singapore and south Korea can do it, why can't we? If all the counties in Europe can do it, so why can't we??

Voice of Reason Apr 21, 2021 11:15 AM
Health Care for All Rally

If there was a will, they would find a way. As much as they say there is the will, once elected there is no will, not at the state level, not at the federal level. They are too dependent the money and support of Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry.

PitMix Apr 21, 2021 10:43 AM
Health Care for All Rally

VOR, you are really saying that a State government should take on the national problem of health care? Like CA has billions of $ just lying around to use for this purpose? Your proposal just doesn't seem realistic. Maybe provide some numbers so we can see that this is practical.

Voice of Reason Apr 21, 2021 10:10 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Until we can bring back widespread, reputable, and unbiased news sources the former is going to be very difficult. As long as there is profit to be made in the "news" we won't get there as truth and fact doesn't sell nearly as well as fear, sensationalism, and division.

Channelfog Apr 21, 2021 09:20 AM
Health Care for All Rally

It seems that it is government by and for the large corporations, NOT the people and small biz. Banks, insurance, oil, pharma/chem are who call the shots. Correcting the electorates' abdication will require an educated and informed citizenry as well as will. The latter may be easier than the former.

Voice of Reason Apr 21, 2021 08:59 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Why can't California? We have a single-party super-majority rule here in the worlds 5th largest economy, if they wanted to provide healthcare to everyone, as they constantly mention in campaigns, tweets, soundbites, and media appearances, they could. But they don't, because what they say are just empty platitudes, what they think you want to hear so you'll vote for them to (re)elected, then they legislates based on 1) what their corporate donors want and 2) what will keep them in positions of power.

Bene Apr 21, 2021 03:24 AM
Health Care for All Rally

If Medicare for all was implemented tomorrow, or next year or the next, it would do no good if there are not enough providers to treat everyone. There are not enough qualified health care providers as it is. And the good ones are all going concierge. They don't want to treat the great unwashed. We'd need incentives to find enough providers who would.

PitMix Apr 21, 2021 08:42 AM
Health Care for All Rally

How about, instead of young doctors amassing huge debt in pursuit of medical degrees, the government funds their education if they become family doctors for a single payer system for 10 yrs or so? They are pushed into specialities to get enough money to pay back their debts. I'm sure there are solutions to the provider problem from other countries as well.

UCSB98 Apr 21, 2021 05:56 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Actually, medical providers are strained now because not enough people are going in for their annual check up. Instead, Americans wait until they are very sick until they go in.... By that time, they need surgery or other very invasive procedures. When airedale healthcare is available to everyone, more people could go in for regular check up preventing many of these invasive procedures and even reducing obesity and lowering heart attacks and diabetes....

sbdude Apr 20, 2021 05:12 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Medicare works because you pay into it for 40 years. Medicare for all sounds great but the means to pay for it have to be real-time. Health care is currently 15 - 20% of our whole economy so you would really have to tax the heck out of people to pay for that. But poor people spend 100% of their money on food, clothing, and shelter; you can't ding them 15%. Tough situation and no good solutions other than lower the actual cost of healthcare as opposed to the insurance.

UCSB98 Apr 20, 2021 07:21 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Think about it.... Medicare pays for healthcare for people over 65 years old... The oldest and sickest Americans... This amounts to a third of all healthcare costs in the US....

A third of the nation's healthcare cost paid for by 1.45% payroll tax... So that means another 3% payroll tax should be able to expand medicare for all ..... Right???

Ahchooo Apr 20, 2021 02:40 PM
Health Care for All Rally

We really need to do something to get the insurance companies and middlemen from sucking up so much money. It’s true that they provide employment, but that’s not a good enough reason to accept such large costs, when our health outcomes are not better.

UCSB98 Apr 21, 2021 06:01 AM
Health Care for All Rally

For 3% more for employees and employers, you can expand the current Medicare coverage to everyone.... If senior citizens don't have prescription coverage now then it would be the same when expanded to everyone.

If you make over $165k annually, then you will not miss another $850 annually.

citizenSB Apr 20, 2021 10:00 PM
Health Care for All Rally

For Medicare the employee pays 1.45% and the employer pays 1.45% , total of 2.9% for 40-50 years to pay for medicare from age 65 to 78.5 (avg life expectancy in the US) or 13.5 years. In addition Medicare doesn't cover prescription drugs so you need to pay for drugs or buy insurance. If you make more than $165K/year you pay an additional $850/year. I think my dad ended up paying about $550/month for "medicare". Hardly free.
So 3% for all does not work. Canadians pay 10% and healthcare as a percentage of gdp is 40% less than in the US.

SBWalkers Apr 20, 2021 08:36 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Why can't both the righties and the lefties get together for the good of all US citizens for crying out loud? Why can't we have TRUE Universal Healthcare like the 68 other "DEVELOPED" countries in the modern world that have successful plans?

1. Kill Medicare
2. Kill Medicaid
3. Kill Insurance Companies
4. Kill VA Medical Benefits
5. Tax EVERYONE's 5% of their annual gross income, including ALL the RICH and ALL the BUSINESSES, for "Universal Health Care".
No exceptions, No breaks, No excuses, No Special Interests
6. Make an Oversight Committee that ensures, no pharmaceutical gouging (procedures, any medications, medicines or devices)
Includes oversight on patients playing the game for unneeded procedures or benefits.
7. Consideration for businesses that make the 5% payments as a benefit for their workers.

The 5% goes ONLY for Healthcare - no borrowing, loaning or touching in ANY Way for ANY Reason.
Study other countries successful models and incorporate their best parts.

We will probably find, if EVERYONE pays 5% of their GROSS, the 5% tax could be much lower.

The US has proven to suck at taking care of our people. The friggin special interests, especially the "Rich", manipulate our taxes and write-offs for their benefit and not the benefit for ALL, especially of the average working class that pay 99% of all taxes while making 1% of our nations income.

The ACA IS NOT A FREAKING DISASTER like idiot partisans would like you to believe. It was a brave attempt that Obama gave but could not complete because of people like McConnel and Graham. While not perfect, the ACA is a good beginning to incorporate the above with focus on true Universal Healthcare for ALL our people.

And in the education world, the US is also behind other countries
https://www.edvisors.com/plan-for-college/money-saving-tips/colleges-with-free-tuition/countries-with-free-tuition/

.. just sayin

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 20, 2021 04:44 PM
Health Care for All Rally

"The 5% goes ONLY for Healthcare - no borrowing, loaning or touching in ANY Way for ANY Reason."

LOL! Yeah, okay, good luck with that one.

a-1618949655 Apr 20, 2021 01:14 PM
Health Care for All Rally

And make sure that the income taxed includes capital gains.

citizenSB Apr 20, 2021 12:15 PM
Health Care for All Rally

5% is not enough -- In Canada is is 10% in Germany 15%. In the US with the current cost of healthcare it would need to be about 25%.
Medicare in not free - beside paying into SSI for your working career if you make basically any money at all outside of SSI you pay an extra $500 a month.

Voice of Reason Apr 20, 2021 09:46 AM
Health Care for All Rally

5. we should not be taxing income but consumption. Make that 5% national sales tax, rich spend more = pay more taxes. At the beginning of the year everyone gets a $2,000 (5% of $40K) to cover the national sales tax on the first $40K spent climates impact on the poor.

ACA: Still left a very large % of the nation uninsured while significantly raising prices on the insured. It was a windfall to Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry (not coincidentally the largest donors to the DNC). It was a huge waste of time and resources and accomplished nothing significant.

PitMix Apr 20, 2021 07:25 AM
Health Care for All Rally

At least they should give people the option to go on Medicare if their work doesn't offer benefits, or if they don't have a job. Over time that will slowly kill the HMO for-profit industry because they are too inefficient.

a-1618916387 Apr 20, 2021 03:59 AM
Health Care for All Rally

The lesson we learned is that a republicon administration, beholden to vested interests, cannot competently handle healthcare, or much else, for that matter.

Voice of Reason Apr 20, 2021 08:40 AM
Health Care for All Rally

OMG @3:59 if you think this is simply a republican issue I have a bridge to sell you. There is a reason Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry make enormous donations to both parties and spend millions lobbying no matter who is in control. If it's on the republicans, where is the Medicare For All vote? Dems control everything now but they won't bring it the floor because they're behooven to their corporate masters. Dems have had a super majority in CA for decades with the 5th largest economy in the world, if they truly wanted to provide free or low cost healthcare for the state they could have. But they don't, they are not who you think they are, and rely on people like you to swallow hook line and sinker whatever BS they want the predominantly liberal and totally compliant media to feed you.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 19, 2021 10:41 PM
Health Care for All Rally

After the way our entire government handled COVID, the last thing we should do is allow them more control over our healthcare. Are you people incapable of learning a lesson?

Then you have the phenomena of when there's no competition, the government handles the cost, and services are mandated---the costs always explode. You who loves that? The insurance companies, healthcare, and pharma. Once you're locked into Devil's Bargain, there's nothing to stop the cost from increases, which would be followed by an increase in the taxes. Can you imagine how much Amazon would charge if Prime were mandated and we were taxed for it, or Netflix, etc.?

Healthcare is expensive, so you need to plan and prioritize. You don't need buy a new iPhone each year. Be healthy and don't eat or smoke yourself into an illness. Can't afford 6 kids...maybe you should stop at 3 or 4? You don't need reassignment surgery while doing life in prison for murder. Have people lost their minds? Sometimes people hit a bump and need a little extra help from time to time. I understand that and have no problem with some taxes for that, but there must be limits. It's one thing to be generous, but it's entirely another to make people obligated for other's mistakes. It's completely immoral to heap your burden on someone else's shoulders, particularly if they're being responsible and you are not. On that note, I'll close by saying I am not responsible for someone else's corrupt government and the resultant difficulties that person suffers as a result. People need to start handling their own business.

a-1618967861 Apr 20, 2021 06:17 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Yes, it takes even less time than that. What will take a lot longer is finding any reputable sources that say universal healthcare is less efficient than our current fiasco.

Voice of Reason Apr 20, 2021 04:58 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Says someone who thinks that topic can be adequately researched with 10 minutes of googling until they find the first article that best fits their preconceived answer.

Voice of Reason Apr 20, 2021 04:27 PM
Health Care for All Rally

That's a big assumption, but if Medicare is administered more cost effectively, and with better outcomes than private insurance, it would be an example.

PitMix Apr 20, 2021 03:57 PM
Health Care for All Rally

VOR, I'll repeat myself, is that why Medicare is more cost effective than HMO care and people are happier with the outcomes? Example of government program you were asking for.

Voice of Reason Apr 20, 2021 08:49 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Pit, he's pleased with the outcome because he got a stent put in and is alive, HMO would have done the same. CSF, if anything COVID has shown is 1) divisive politicians and bureaucrats make terrible decisions for the people they govern, they're more concerned about their own power rather than their constituents, 2) personal responsibility is a thing of the past. Can anyone point to one thing the government runs that it does a really good job at? I would say the military as China and Russia aren't taking over large swaths of the world so the job is done well, but at and enormously high price so ehh...

PitMix Apr 20, 2021 07:23 AM
Health Care for All Rally

CSF, is that why Medicare is more cost effective than HMO care and people are happier with the outcomes? My conservative Obama hating coworker turned 65, went on Medicare, had stents put in to fix 95% blockage in his heart, and was very pleased with the outcome. Didn't hate the guvmint or Obama any less, however. This is why we can't have good things.

UCSB98 Apr 20, 2021 05:35 AM
Health Care for All Rally

It's interesting how some people make universal healthcare seem like some kind of a rare experiment when literally all industrialized countries in the world have it available for all its citizens except for the US.... Even in the US, we have some form of universal healthcare like Medicare but it's only made available to half of the citizens.... Actually the system the US have in leaving most of healthcare run by private system is the experiment and it's clearly failed.... We've ended up with the most expensive hospitalization and pharmaceutical costs in the world leaving half million bankrupt every year.... Insurance premiums more than 30% of median income!

If Canada can do it... Why can't we?

If all western european countries can do it... Why can't we?

If all of the industrialized countries in the world can do it... Why can't we?

Did you know that at one fifth of GDP spent on healthcare, the US, by far, spend way more on healthcare as a portion of GDP than any other industrialized countries in the world?

Because we're the only industrialized nation that does not offer universal care for everyone, a fifth of our GDP goes to healthcare cost when the rest of the world only spend less than one tenth of their GDP on healthcare....

ChillinGrillin Apr 19, 2021 09:09 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Our healthcare system is a national embarrassment. When my grandfather got cancer, he was basically told to wait and die. Treatment wasn't covered by insurance, they said chemo and surgery was "experimental." He was the most intelligent human I have ever met, fluent in 4 languages and brought laughter everywhere he went. But in the garbage US healthcare system his life was valued by his savings account. Not only is it an awful system on average, it is the most expensive in the world. Every single health insurance and for-profit hospital administrator is going straight to hell.

Ahchooo Apr 19, 2021 08:14 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Forgive me if I don’t read the whole bill. Robert, can you tell me, is there anything in there that addresses the situation of employees who currently get health care coverage through work, and consider that to be part of their compensation? If the state changes the system, will these people’s employers be required to give equivalent compensation by way of salary, or other benefits? Or do the people who currently have a good deal get screwed?

Ahchooo Apr 20, 2021 08:58 AM
Health Care for All Rally

9:31 PM, it helps a bit, but doesn’t answer my specific question. I’d like to see the revenue plan *before* I support this bill. Without that, the whole thing is more of an ideal than an actual plan.

PitMix Apr 20, 2021 07:20 AM
Health Care for All Rally

UCSB, browser refresh will tell you if your post went through if you can't tell that it did.

UCSB98 Apr 20, 2021 05:42 AM
Health Care for All Rally

At worst, some private businesses might give you back just half of the benefits of that savings but in most large establishments especially city's, counties and universities that's union run, the employees will reap most of the benefits.... It's actually quite exciting if you think about it.... Most employees pay upwards of a thousand dollars monthly for medical insurance and that's after your employers already pays at least as much into it.... Without this added expenses, bonuses would be a lot more.... Wouldn't you think?

a-1618893565 Apr 19, 2021 09:39 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Employers should be very happy to get rid of all the expense and bureaucracy they currently have to deal with.

a-1618893114 Apr 19, 2021 09:31 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Can you read one page? As Robert explained, the first page of that link gives a detailed summary of what is in the bill. Does that help, AHCHOOO?

Ahchooo Apr 19, 2021 09:09 PM
Health Care for All Rally

UCSB98, that’s exactly my concern. If I lose the health care plan I get through my job, it will be like a huge cut in pay. Will the employer get to reap the benefits of that, or will they be required to make it up to me another way?

UCSB98 Apr 19, 2021 08:55 PM
Health Care for All Rally

If you think you've got a good health care insurance through work, then it's because your work pays a lot towards your medical insurance. Places like the city and UCSB pays more than $15k per year for each family coverage.... I'll bet they'll want this bill to pass... Wouldn't you if you were these employers?

citizenSB Apr 19, 2021 05:01 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Seems we have 2 issues 1) compared to other nations our health care is way too expensive. As a percentage of gdp the US is 17.7% Canada is 11.5% , Germany is 11.7%.
We need to reduce our healthcare cost by 40% to be competitive (17.7% to 11.7%).
2) Everyone needs to pay into single payer healthcare, it is not free -- In Canada people pay approx 10% of their income for healthcare -- even people with extremely low income pay. In Germany employees are taxes 7.5% of their income for health insurance and employers are taxed 7.5% as well. Regardless of income levels.

citizenSB Apr 20, 2021 07:23 AM
Health Care for All Rally

We need to reduce our cost of healthcare by 40% to be competitive with other counties so the $25K becomes $15K for the cost of family coverage. Two adults working would typically make on average at least $150K a year -- so it works out at 10-15% as in Canada and Germany.
It is a big expense regardless and will not be free. Having both the employee and employer pay half even for part time workers makes a lot of sense and will fix the practice of employers hiring only part time workers to get around paying for health insurance.

UCSB98 Apr 19, 2021 05:53 PM
Health Care for All Rally

Average HMO premiums for family coverage is over $25,000 now... Thats over 30% of median family income... It means half of all Americans pay over 30% if their income for medical insurance.... Makes that 10% tax to eliminate insurance look attractive doesn't it?

PitMix Apr 19, 2021 03:08 PM
Health Care for All Rally

How do you overcome the opposition from the people that A) Can afford really good health care currently B) Don't want to pay for other people to get health care C) The really large industries that have grown up around health care and make huge salaries and profits and can lobby Congress endlessly? These groups seem to be able to control the outcome of any bills to provide single payer.

dukemunson Apr 20, 2021 09:48 AM
Health Care for All Rally

Yep... politics and healthcare are the pathways to crazy profits/money ! Both have mixed interests in actually helping you as well...

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