Op-Ed: Why We Need CalCare
By Jon Abad
Calcare or AB 1400 is about to clear the California assembly on its way to becoming a law. It provides universal healthcare for all in California. It was introduced last year and it cleared health committee and it cleared appropriations committee last week, but must be approved by the full assembly before the end of January to stay alive. It will expand Medicare-like universal healthcare for all in California. It will cover 100% of medical expenses including dental, vision, prescription and long-term care just like in much of the rest of the world provides for all it's citizens now.
Let's face it.... The only reason anyone would be against this bill is if they worked for or paid by insurance or pharmaceuticals industry that will undoubtedly suffer the worst.....Clearly under this plan, over 90% of all California will end up spending less on healthcare than any added taxes to fund it.
Universal care isn't perfect, people in other countries may complain about waiting a long time for non-life-threatening procedures or treatments. But way too many Americans only wished they had this option for waiting to afford life-saving treatments as half a million Americans go bankrupt from hospital bills every year….and countless more reluctantly have to choose to forgo life-saving treatment just so they can leave their life savings to loved ones....... It's no wonder our life expectancy rate in the US are near the bottom in the list among industrialized nations with all of them having universal healthcare for all.
Over and over other countries have proven that universal care system is the best way to run healthcare. It works for the sickest and oldest here in the US with Medicare, doesn't it? So why not expand it to all? It works in all of Europe and the rest of the world so why not here?
Medicare is still being funded by the same 1.45% payroll taxes that it was funded with when it started sixty years ago.... Can you point to any health insurers that can survive when two years without a rate increase? Private insurance spends up to 20% of premiums to administer healthcare while in single payer programs like Medicare, it only costs less than 2% to administer it as there's no cost going to lobbying, marketing, profit and huge executive compensations.
Between employer and employees portion of healthcare insurance in the US, over $20k annually is spent on typical HMO insurance in this country for each family. At about $60k in median household income, this means half the US spends about a third of their income just on healthcare premiums! If you include health insurance cost to taxes we pay, don't we pay more than taxes in any other countries with universal healthcare for all?
Did you know that the US spends over 18% of our GDP on healthcare while all other developed countries spend less than 13% of their GDP towards healthcare... That's up to a trillion dollars annually we can save if this country adopted single-payer system that the rest of the world have already proven to work over the last past 80 years! Anyways, hope you would supported it, if not, at least state your concerns publicly so that it be incorporated into the final product. Here's the proposed funding sources below:
Annual excise tax on businesses with $2 million income of 2.3%
Payroll tax for employers with 50 or more resident employees of 1.25%
For workers earning more than $49,000 a 1% payroll tax
Personal income tax for those earning $149,509 or over
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