From the Hon. Sheila Kuehl, state Senator. Please feel free to forward…
I am writing to tell you about my strong support for Proposition 72, otherwise known as the Health Insurance Act. As you may know, Proposition 72 protects the provisions now in the law that, once implemented, will require large and medium-sized companies to pay at least 80% of the cost of employee’s premiums for health insurance. This law means that an additional 1.1 million working people and children, who are currently without insurance, will have the benefits of insurance.
California, like the rest of our country, is facing a mounting health care crisis with no end in sight. Health care premiums have nearly doubled and there are now 45 million Americans who are uninsured. Emergency facilities all over the state are shutting down, partially as the result of serving a rising number of people who have no health insurance.
Proposition 72 protects the positive steps California took in 2003 toward increasing the number of working Californians who have insurance. This Proposition, not surprisingly, is facing a serious challenge in November, and, in all of our interests, it must be vigorously defended.
Historically, it has been employers who have moved the United States toward an employer based health care model. Now that the system is falling apart, an alarming number of employers are excusing themselves from the table, leaving workers to pay the tab. It is troubling that employers who have worked hard to maintain coverage are finding it harder and harder to compete with companies who have dropped health care coverage. As a result, the ranks of the uninsured are growing rapidly. Reaching a long term solution will require that employers are at the table with a critical stake in reform. Proposition 72 sends an important message to employers that simply dropping coverage because costs are out of control is not a reasonable solution.
The movement toward health care reform in California must include a combination of long, intermediate and short term efforts. Proposition 72 covers over a million workers and children, reduces competitive pressures between companies to eliminate benefits, and sends a message that we need to work collectively to find a solution that works for all of us. Proposition 72 represents an essential step toward quality affordable health care for all and as such I urge your strong support.
Given the importance of this election, please join me in pledging to vote YES on Prop 72, at the campaign website: www.yesonprop72.com. Get others to also sign up, so they can get updates on the progress of the campaign.
The opposition is spending millions to defeat us, so I also ask for your contribution, to counter the TV advertising assault in the final days of the campaign. To donate online, go to www.yesonprop72.com, and then click “Contribute.”
Thank you for your consideration.
Sheila James Kuehl
Senator, 23rd District