Next week, we will focus on educating Californians …

Next week, we will focus on educating Californians about Healthy California (SB562) a Medicare for All approach to healthcare in California. The ACA was a good start to get coverage for millions of Californians, but it is not the final answer for 💯% coverage. For those of us who believe access to healthcare is a right and not a privilege, this bill carries us to that goal.

Earlier this year, Speaker Rendon tabled the bill for 2017 making Healthy California a centerpiece campaign issue for 2018. Some were critical of Speaker Rendon for doing this, but the deliberateness of this approach allows for the voters of the state to learn about the bill and vote for candidates, like me, who will support the bill after the 2018 election.

Critics, like my opponent, falsely attack the bill as lacking funding. Here is the correct analysis of appropriations for Healthy California.

1. Total annual costs of about $400 billion per year, including all covered health care services and administrative costs, at full enrollment.

2. Existing federal, state, and local funding (existing funding for Medicare, MediCal, VA, ACA, and CHIP) of about $200 billion could be available to offset a portion of the total program cost.

3. The additional tax revenues can be raised through a combination of an additional payroll tax or tax on cannabis sale and distribution. This is the area of current debate and concern.

4. It is important to note that the overall cost of those new tax revenues would be offset to a large degree by reduced spending on health care coverage by employers and employees. Although precise estimates of total spending for employer sponsored health insurance are not available, the best available information indicates that existing spending is between $100 and $150 billion per year. Therefore, total new spending required under the bill would be between $50 and $100 billion per year and not the $200 billion per year fear mongers like to point out.

5. Thus, employers who provide private insurance to their employees now save tremendously. Others who buy private insurance for themselves or families now save tremendously. Any additional tax pales in comparison to the present cost of private insurance.

The math works. We only need the wherewithal and leadership to get this bill across the finish line. Let’s get out there and help Californians understand this important bill.