At Breast Cancer Action, we envision a healthcare system in which everyone has access to healthcare that is compassionate, culturally competent, evidence-based, supports patient decision-making, and devotes adequate resources to prevention. We believe the United States healthcare system should guarantee affordable healthcare to everyone in this country, and that everyone should have comprehensive coverage which supports their health and well-being. Toward that end, we sent the following letter of support for The Healthy California Act.
April 12, 2017
Senator Ricardo Lara
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Support for SB 562 (Lara/Atkins) – The Healthy California Act
Dear Senator Lara,
Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) supports SB 562, The Californians for a Healthy California Act. The bill will guarantee that all California residents receive the comprehensive healthcare services they need and deserve.
Breast Cancer Action is a national education and activist organization working to achieve health justice for all women at risk of and living with breast cancer. We are committed to universal access to affordable, high-quality healthcare and believe that all California residents should have the right to comprehensive health care, regardless of income or employment status.
The present healthcare system in California is not sustainable, even for those with health insurance, who face unpredictable lapses in coverage, limited choice of providers, decreased benefits and increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Many people are being priced out of the market and becoming uninsured or underinsured, losing access to the health care they need for themselves or their family members and putting significant strain on funding for public health care institutions.
Despite the substantial gains of the Affordable Care Act, it did not result in universal health coverage and many Californians remain uninsured and underinsured. In a time of uncertainty in our national healthcare system, and as the federal government is shifting more responsibility for healthcare to states, it is essential that California protect its citizens by establishing a truly universal healthcare system that is based on residency, rather than income or employment. The advances from the Affordable Care Act will be incorporated into this new system.
Many U.S. studies have shown the potential benefits of a universal, single-payer health insurance system, including increased efficiency and decreased costs for individuals, businesses, and government. These benefits have also been demonstrated in multiple other countries’ implementation of universal health care. SB 562 will dramatically reduce waste by merging the functions of multiple insurance companies into one comprehensive public plan, effectively saving health care consumers and the state billions of dollars each year.
Under SB 562, a payroll and income-based premium will replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles, which will likely result in significant net out-of-pocket savings. Patients will also be allowed to select the provider of their choice with no out-of-pocket costs for comprehensive covered services. Provider rates will be negotiated to guarantee access, cost control and high-value services and there will likely be dramatic cost savings from reduced administrative bureaucracy.
Breast Cancer Action supports universal access to healthcare for all Californians through SB 562 (Lara/Atkins) and urges our legislative representatives to work for passage of this bill.
Joyce Bichler, MSW