2017-06-02 / Letters

Supports state single-payer plan

As a registered nurse and retired public health manager, I’m writing to voice my support for Senate Bill 562 (Healthy California). I’m concerned that the national discourse about healthcare coverage over the Affordable Health Care versus the American Health Care Act is devolving into chaos, removing health coverage from 23 million individuals over 10 years, and pricing it out of reach from most.

Eliminating the package of essential benefits that assure preventive healthcare assures more expensive care at a more expensive facility—or a death penalty. Requiring those with pre-existing conditions to purchase insurance from high-risk pools even if partly subsidized by the government will quickly become unaffordable.

Who among us does not presently have or know of someone with a pre-existing condition? Probably everyone in my family has one of some degree. Employer supported health insurance is not universally available, and not particularly affordable for many.

U.S. residents currently pay five times what other developed countries pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs (including Canada, France and Australia) with worse health outcomes. We’re certainly not more diseased than our counterparts, so why the disparity?

Excessive costs are associated with specialty diagnostics. Additionally, health insurers’ compensation packages, research and development costs for designer drugs are also bankrupting our healthcare system.

The cost curve for health insurance is on a nonstop increase. Senate Bill 562 follows the path of most developed nations that have already implemented a single-payer health coverage system.

Thank you to state Sen. Henry Stern for supporting this forward thinking approach to healthcare for California. I hope that Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin similarly will support it.

Diane Dobbins
Newbury Park

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