More materials for the big vote…

A vote on health reform may happen as early as Sunday afternoon!

Californians have taken to the streets in support of health reform. On Wednesday, over 100 Californians rallied in Orange County, in Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s district. Yesterday, the activity was outside the Central Valley offices of Rep. Dennis Cardoza, in Fresno, Modesto, and Stockton.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s website has more information on the health reform package:

Other resource materials can be found on the Energy and Commerce Web site, including District-by-District impact assessments

The comprehensive health reform package would provide security and stability for those with coverage concerned about losing it, and would provide new, affordable options for those currently without coverage.

The new changes would provide more assistance to California’s families and small businesses struggling with the cost of coverage, and to the state of California and its budget as well. The changes would:
* increase the financial assistance for low- and moderate-income families to afford insurance premiums, and to protect them against excessive out-of-pocket costs–especially important in a state with a high cost-of-living like California.
* improve the provisions to eliminate the Medicare prescription drug coverage “donut hole” that currently leaves some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars of drug costs.
* improves the financial assistance to states like California in multiple ways:
* eliminates the special Nebraska provision and instead increases the federal assistance for any expansion of Medicaid, by covering 100% of the cost in the first three years, and at worst in the tenth year, continuing to provide a significant 9:1 federal match.
* provides resources for a significant increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care physicians for two years, especially helpful for California that has some of the lowest rates in the nation;
* improves the formulas for payments to safety-net (DSH) hospitals.

The Congressional Budget Office “scored” the proposal covering 32 million people, and reducing the deficit by $138 billion in the first ten years, and over $1 trillion in the second ten years.

Californian Susan Braig, an Anthem Blue Cross of California policyholder whose breast cancer was largely uncovered, is spotlighted in a Health Care for America Now video urging Congress to vote for reform. Watch it here:

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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