The movement for Healthcare Justice is currently coming to a peak in California with the recent introduction and now advancement to the State Senate floor for a vote due next week on SB 562 The Healthy California Act. The principle authors and citizen sponsors are being asked to provide updated proof of what those of us fighting for a Single Payer system of financing Healthcare have known for a very long time, that Single Payer based on progressive taxation to replace private health insurance premiums saves money and saves lives.
An updated fiscal study for the proposed Single Payer system specified in SB 562 is being done now and is fully expected to verify what numerous previous studies have concluded on this subject dating back decades or more, that the elimination of private health insurance and the act of negotiating pharmaceutical prices will dramatically lower costs to consumers and the population at large.
Using formulas based on those studies, states, counties, and municipalities like other employer groups of all sizes and individuals can expect significant savings, on the order of $1 billion dollars per year for every 1 million in the population of the area in question to be added as new revenues to their annual budgets.
Furthermore, there are many intangible savings that must be factored in. These additional savings would include eliminating redundant insurances such as Workers Compensation, and medical liability for personal and commercial properties such as auto insurance. Also, there would be reduced levels of medical malpractice and resultant costly defensive medical practices due to renewed trust between patients and their physicians as a result of unimpeded access. A greatly expanded economy due to the increased demand for comprehensive services in the Healthcare sector would further enhance revenues as a result. And perhaps of most significance would be the benefits of a healthier and happier workforce, including more freedom to change jobs and new business start-ups.
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These arguments and proposals have already been applied with demonstrated validity in numerous countries and states around the world. Until such time as we adopt something similar or even more universal in its scope, we can only expect more social pressure toward this end whether it is here in California or across the entire United States of America.
The bottom line especially for those who may call themselves fiscal conservatives is that this is about recapturing and putting to good use that third of every Healthcare pie currently stolen from us by big insurance and big pharmaceutical profits. The question of how it will be paid for can only be answered by saying, we’re already paying for it we’re just not getting what we pay for!
This epic fight is not about right versus left, it’s about right versus wrong. Do we in California have the political will now to enact this change? We’ll see soon enough.