Support Enactment of The Healthy California Act, SB 562

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Hilbert Morales

California’s Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins have co-authored SB 562, ‘The Healthy California Act’ so as to enable California’s residents to have single payer universal health care insurance coverage as a state program. The 2017-18 CA State Assembly needs to pass this bill despite vigorous opposition by the heath insurance lobbyists & special interests. National Nurses United (Southern CA) are supporting its enactment. I encourage readers to google “The Healthy California Act, Senate Bill 562” bill text to experience the comprehensive and complicated nature of the health care services system. Its purpose is to continue to provide CA’s residents with coverage if and when the current Trump Administration and the Republican controlled Congress carry out the total repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Senators Richardo Lara (D-Los Angeles) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) are the co-authors who already have the support of four senate colleagues and five members of the State Assembly. SB 562 was first published on March 29, 2017. The 2017-18 State Assembly needs to send the final form of this SB 562 bill to Governor Brown during this 2017-18 Assembly session.

CA’s health care industry probably accounts for some 20% of its economic effort. Plan now to become a trained and licensed professional workers employed. The health care industry contains some 2,600 different careers which cannot be sent offshore. As a state California has the constitutional ‘states right’ to ensure its residents have access to essential health care services which are covered by this proposed Insurance program. The proposed use of a ‘public utility model’ (not the ‘competitive market model’) is totally appropriate. Also, an emphasis on health care services which are available and priced without a ‘profit burden’ is appropriate.

When signed by Governor Brown, SB 562 will be “An act to add Title 22.2 (commencing with Section 100600) to the (CA) Government Code, relating to health care coverage, and making an appropriation therefor.” I encourage readers to google the bill text of The Healthy California Act, SB 562, to read the entire ‘LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST’ which describes the necessary integration and coordination of several existing federal and CA state programs. Youth should note the extensive opportunities to be employed in the future (it is estimated some 2,600 jobs/careers already exist).

As amended, SB 562 (Lara & Atkins) The Healthy California Act will integrate, manage, and coordinate all existing federal law, federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted various health care coverage market reforms that took effect January 1, 2014. PPACA required in each state by January to establish an American Health Benefit Exchange to facilitate the purchase of qualified health benefit plans by qualified individuals and qualified small employers.

The following is crucial supplemental information about the SB 562 healthcare act.

“PPACA defines a “qualified health plan” as a plan that, among other requirements, provides an essential health benefits package. Existing state law creates the California Health Benefit Exchange (aka: Covered California) to facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans by qualified individuals and qualified small employers.”

“Existing law such as 1975’s Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. Also for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance; for the administration of Medi-Cal programs by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is governed in part and funded by federal Medicaid program provisions.”

This (SB 562) bill would make findings and declarations with regard to the availability and affordability of health care coverage and would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage program and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of CA.”

“This (SB 562) bill, the Healthy California Act, would create the Healthy California program to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of CA. The bill, among other things, would provide that the program cover a wide range of medical services.”

“(SB 562) would prohibit health care service plans and health insurers from offering health benefits or covering any service for which coverage is offered to individuals under the program, except as provided.”

“The bill would authorize health care providers, as defined, to collectively negotiate rates of payment for health care services, rates of payment for prescription and nonprescription drugs, and payment methodologies using 3rd-party representatives, as provided. Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.”

“This (SB 562) bill would make legislative findings to that effect. It would require a majority vote in both the CA State Senate and the Assembly to send this bill to Gov. Brown for his signature…Then SB 562 would become law within the State of California. An initiating appropriation is required; The Fiscal Committee would perform oversight of implementation management.”

CLOSING COMMENTS: Do contact your state senator or assembly member to let them know of your support. This is very important because while special interest lobbyists may have the ‘dark money’; We the People have the votes to re-elect only those who have ‘done the greatest good for the greatest humber.”