The committee voted the bill down on Jan. 28. A yes vote would have paved the way for Californians to decide the bill’s financing mechanism in the Nov. election.
But ABX1-1 lacked the votes. The bill failed in Kuehl’s committee. Núñez has two options. He can return with amendments and request a reconsideration of the vote. Or he can request a new vote on the health-care reform bill with no amendments, according to Carol Wallisch, Sen. Kuehl’s chief of staff.
A Jan. 25 unsigned Sacramento Bee editorial blamed Big Tobacco and the California Nurses Association for the sacking of ABX1-1. Under ABX1-1, the former would see its tax bill hiked. That would likely cut cigarette sales. What horror!
The CNA wants to boot private insurers from the health-care system. Consider this. ABX1-1 limits insurers to spending no more than 15 cents of every premium dollar on administrative costs. Such costs were 28 percent of California’s projected health expenditures in 2003, reported Drs. David Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler and Sidney Wolfe in the International Journal of Health Services.
Meanwhile, Kuehl’s SB 840 for a system of single-payer health care instead of the current system of multiple insurers is waiting to be heard in the Assembly appropriations committee. That process will begin this summer.
And, grass-roots support is building for a California constitutional ballot initiative in which voters can decide the fate of a single-payer health care measure this Nov. The California Health Security Plan is a single-payer system to provide every California resident with medical care: “no co-pays, no deductibles, and no premiums.”
And the Plan does specify a funding source: the state’s general fund and other sources like the federal treasury. To qualify the measure for the ballot, backers need 700,000 valid voter signatures.
Visit http://www.CaliforniansforHealthSecurity.org for more information.
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