The California legislature passed the California Health Insurance Reliability Act (SB 840) with a vote of 43-30. The approval was nearly a party line vote with the Democrats leading the charge. The bill would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system. State Senator Sheila Kuehl, a Democrat from Santa Monica sponsored the bill. It still has to go to the State Senate for final approval, but has already been approved once there so it is expected to pass.
Several things aren't included in the bill, the main thing being a means of paying for it. How any bill can be approved without even thinking of the costs is beyond me, but the same thing happened with the Senate's Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that is estimated to cost the taxpayers of this country a minimum of $120 billion over 10 years.
Another thing not included in this bill is a restriction on illegal aliens using the system. That's right, with the current health care crisis and Emergency Rooms closing in California due to the high number of uninsured illegal aliens, the State Senate wants to now insure and pay for all those illegal alien's health, dental, eye, prescription and mental care no matter what it may entail.
Surf Santa Monica (via Free Republic)
The plan would cover all residents -- including undocumented residents and California retirees living out of state who pay into the system -- for a comprehensive range of medical costs, including dental care, prescriptions, mental health care and hospitalization.
I guess California just wants to attract as many poor and illegal people as they can to the state.
Senator Kuehl hopes to have the bill approved by the Senate and be vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger so that come election time in November they can point and say "he doesn't care about your health". Now I'm not saying that all of California is a bunch of dumb people, but there are surely enough Democrats in California that would look at this Utopian bill -- as they have with others -- and agree with it without considering the costs and point the finger at the Governor.
California is notorious for passing bills that require massive amounts of money and can't be reduced in the budget. It is one of the reasons that California Governor's hands are tied on trying to reduce the budget and have to often cut things that are controversial. When the only thing you can actually cut in the budget is teacher and nurse pay and education funding you look like an ass when you have to do so. California is a tax, tax, tax with no reduction EVER state. The only other way to raise money has been to float bonds.
San Francisco Chronicle
SB840 would provide comprehensive medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug coverage to every California resident. Anyone could see any doctor or go to any hospital.
The bill does not account for the costs of the program since it would take several years before any plan was up and running.
And this is one of the problems with any Universal Health Care system. When anyone with a minor concern can get in line, the line becomes very long. In countries with Universal Health Care in place, people routinely have to wait years to be seen. People who haven't paid into the system end up in front of those who have paid much, much more. It's a further disincentive to get ahead in life.
With even one night stays in the hospital costing thousands of dollars, imagine the cost of all the homeless and illegal aliens filling the beds. It'll open a whole new industry of smuggling infirm in from Mexico. You'll see people who have been taken out of their hospital bed in Mexico and smuggled across the border. You'll see a massive influx of elderly illegal aliens who want in for the prescription drugs.
It's a disaster waiting to happen and the Democrats in California are happily pushing it through with a smile on their face.
Re Calif. HB 840 (Univ. Healthcare) I'm a semi-retired American living in Cabo. Here in Mexico - basic healthcare is virtually FREE. Even for Gringos! No one is turned away - even poor Americans knocking on the hospital door.
And Mexico isn't whinning about all the Gringos running up their health care budget or for educating their kids who are living here. Don't even begin to think Mexicans are flocking to the USA for free medical care... Why should they? Its already free or nearly so in Mexico. They go to the USA for jobs and expect that the richest country on the planet can afford to care for its workers.
Fact is - a poor Mexican field worker or hotel worker has better access to a doctor or dentist in Mexico than a middle class American who can't afford American health insurance! $2 to 5 bucks is all it costs for a poor person for a consultation with a doctor at clinics everywhere throughout Mexico.
Mexicans expect health care to be provided by their govt. Its a better use of govt. monies than spending it on wars all over the world don't you think?
Fact is - since I was a child (over 50 years ago) the USA has always been at war somewhere... Not Mexico. Ever wonder why? Without sounding like a socialist - how about priorities? Did we need Vietnam? What good did it do? For anyone? Or all those piss-ant military involements in Latin America and elsewhere?
One of our dental patients here in Cabo recently had his foot nearly torn off by a shark. Was in the local public hospital for four hours in surgery with four docs and a micro surgeon who reattached all the nerves, vessels etc. Bill was under $500usd. (correct number) Another friend went into shock passing a kidney stone - bill for the house call from an endocrinologist was $35usd.
Another American visiting here in Baja told me he had the same kidney stone problem but in San Francisco California. He paid $5,800usd for the ambulance ride, two cat scans and emergency room charges.
The problem isn't the illegals jamming up the American health care system - the problem is the structure of the American health care system. In Mexico, Canada, Britain, Germany etc. there is a dual health care system. A Mexican (or expat Gringo) can pay high prices for private care or get most basic service for pennies on the dollar at a public facility vs. costs in the US.
My Mexican cardiologist here charges $50usd for a consultation. An Ear Specialist charged me $35 including a treatment using an intrascopic device used to remove a fungas. Root Canals & porcelain crowns run $250 - $450usd in Baja vs. $800-2,500usd in the States. Same materials same equipment ordered from the same catalogues as American dentists use.
Sorry, but Americans need a little perspective on their health care problem - Western nations with govt. sponsored health care do just fine with a DUAL system. People can then have options. In the USA - Americans don't have options - pay, go into debt, or be sick or die. Thats the fate of 40 percent of all Americans per the media.
Part of the solution to the American health care crisis begins with govt. paid or subsidized education of medical professionals as in Mexico. So there's lots of doctors per capita. And they're not treated like demi-Gods in Mexico. They don't drive Mercedes and spend a $100,000 for golf club memberships. All the doctors and dentists I know in Los Cabos drive VW's, Chryslers or Fords.
The medical industry in the USA doesn't serve the people the way the police, fire, teachers and other public servants do. The American medical industry in the USA serves itself.
San Jose del Cabo
Baja California Sur
Posted by: david mandich on September 8, 2006 08:54 PM