Thanks to the LA Times’ Political Muscle for the link about our comments on children’s coverage in the Governor’s plan. This being a blog, we have to take exception to something, in particular the reference to young adult being “fearless” and “invincible” as a reason they are uninsured. To Salladay’s credit, he does mention they are generally “low-income” which, along with the types of jobs that have (think McDonalds, Wal-Mart), is the overwhelming reason they are more likely to be uninsured. I go into this in more details defending young adults here.
Matthew Holt has a whole column at Spot On that reasonably accurately details the context for our health reform debate, in California and nationally. He’s a lot more pessimistic than I am about reform at the state level: One stat: 49.2%, suggesting that even the wrath of McDonald’s and Wal-Mart couldn’t convince half of California to vote against Prop 72. The recent Field Poll suggested that now, support for the concept of setting a standard for employer-based coverage is at 78%. That’s consistent with private polling as well. If I were at the Chamber of Commerce or the California Restaurant Association, I would want to figure out a truce in the legislature, than go to war and risk the verdict of voters again.
Finally, I have a slightly different conclusion than Frank Russo of the California Progress Report in looking at the Field Poll. It does show large majorities for the types of policies that Health Access has advocated for: securing employer-based coverage, expanding public programs, etc. The question that is being seen as describing a single-payer plan talks about “replacing” our current situation with a “state-run system.” Even Senator Kuehl’s SB840 did not propose a British-style National Health Service where the government hires all doctors and runs all hospitals, which is what the question implies. Her proposal is more like Medicare for all, leaving in place the current private network of doctors, hospitals, etc.
That said, we will continue support proposals that take steps forward, improving access to health care, that bring people together to share the risk and cost of care (through the worksite, a public program, or a universal system), while opposing those that take us in the opposite direction, that place the burden on the individual patient and family.