In last week’s Democratic weekly radio address, Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health, made the case for why Governor Schwarzenegger should sign bills that will enact federal health care reforms in California.
* Click onto the following link for the English language MP3 file. The running time is 2:33.
* Click onto the following link for the Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 3:16.
Here’s the transcript:
Hello, this is Assembly Health Committee Chair Bill Monning.
For Californians concerned about health care – and all of us are — September 23rd marked an important day.
That’s the day key consumer protections from federal health reform went into effect.
These protections include allowing your kids to stay on your coverage until their 26th birthday, guaranteeing that all children can be offered health insurance regardless of a pre-existing condition they may have; and guarantees no co-pays or deductibles for several important preventive services, such as smoking cessation services and immunization.
Assembly Democrats have authored bills making sure several of these protections will be the law of the land in California – if the Governor signs the bills.
One critical piece of legislation to protect consumers and small businesses is AB 1602, authored by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, to create the California Health Benefits Exchange. I’m proud to be a co-author on this bill.
The Exchange will be the consumer friendly marketplace where individuals and small businesses can easily understand their insurance choices and costs and, most importantly, where they can claim their federal premium subsidies and tax credits to buy affordable coverage.
In establishing the Exchange, California is positioning itself to help working people and small businesses draw down several billion dollars in available federal tax credits and for the first time, giving them the purchasing power of very large employer groups.
In a state with the most uninsured and underinsured, where close to 2 million people lost their job-based coverage in the last two years because of the recession, AB 1602 is a major step forward for all Californians.
Governor Schwarzenegger has an important decision to make.
He can sign vital bills to protect Californians against the insurance company abuses that have become far too common in our state.
Or he can side with the tea partiers and far right Republicans who have no solutions to our health care crisis other than to say no.
It’s time the governor heard from Californians who are literally sick and tired of the health care status quo.
Let the governor know you want him to move forward with health care reforms because no Californians should have to go broke just to stay healthy.
This is Assembly Health Committee Chair Bill Monning. Thank you for listening.