Sen. Darrell Steinberg and Elaine Alquist have rightly focussed on what happens to previously uninsured Californians, who obtain coverage through health reform, and then are cut off if the revenues for the program go south — causing health reform to “trigger off” and revert to the “status quo” — which means newly uninsured Californians are uninsured again.
This is particularly troubling if a person is in the middle of treatment for cancer.
Sen. Alquist raises this point:
“I’m hearing about safety valves to the state, but not safety valves for the
consumer. There will be people who die because they can’t get treatment during
that 12 or 14-month period’’ during which time health reform is “turned off.’’
But Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe responds that people are dying now — without coverage, and without this bill.
“I want to underscore a fundamental reality. People are dying
today because they don’t have insurance. Lack of insurance means lack of
access. Lack of access means diminished health outcomes. Diminished health
outcomes mean people die.”