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Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 at 3:11 PM
It's Our Healthcare is protesting the Governor's veto of AB 8 and his proposed "health care" plan.
Last night, It's Our Healthcare, a coalition of labor, clergy, seniors, healthcare customers, and community groups who have lobbied for the moderate AB 8 health-care reform bill started a 48-hour vigil to protest Governor Schwartzenegger veto of the bill. The vigil is located at the Ronald Reagan welfare building at 4th and Los Angeles.
The bill was designed as a moderate middle ground between the traditional single-payer system proposed in the SB 840 bill, and the individual mandate proposed in the bill the Governor is promoting. Despite this middle ground strategy, the bill was vetoed by the Schwartzenegger on Monday.
Art Pulaski of the California Federation of Labor said about the Schwartzenegger plan, “even a middle class family could wind up paying thousands of dollars in premiums, and on top of that, up to ,000 in deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. For many lower- and moderate-income families that already pay plenty for healthcare; the Governor’s plan just piles on another burden.”
The Schwartzenegger plan would mandate that every individual purchase medical insurance, similar to the way in which all drivers are required to purchase auto insurance. Persons who fail to purchase insurance will be fined on their state taxes -- that is, if they file a state tax return. Critics at One Care Now, a competing lobbyist group, say that individual mandates will fail to cover all people, much in the way auto insurance is held by only 75% of people. (At present, 86% of people in the US have health insurance.)
The focus of the individual mandate is to pressure people who cannot afford insurance, or opt to not purchase insurance, to purchase "High Deductible Health Plans" (HDHP) HDHPs have high initial deductibles of ,000 or more, so customers must cover their own expenses before the insurance begins to pay for healthcare.
HDHPs have been a policy focus of the Bush administration. Advocates say it increases health insurance coverage. Critics say that HDHPs discourage preventative healthcare, and lead to people getting sicker before they seek treatment. Common sense says that if you get millions of poor people to pay for health insurance they're afraid of using, because it's so expensive, it will be very profitable for the private insurance companies, and hazardous to public health in low-income communities.
According to the arch-Capitalist, neoliberal Cato Foundation, the individual mandate is a step on the slippery slope to national health care.
Tonight, the vigil will be screening health care
The vigil will continue until noon on Friday.
Description of an individual mandate:
Cato on IMs:
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