Blaming the individual won’t work

Two health care proposals floated yesterday – one by Senate Leader Don Perata, the other by Kaiser CEO George Halverson – include an individual mandate.

Health Access has explored this idea – especially through the lens of the Massachusetts plan. Our conclusion is simple: An individual mandate in California is unwise, unwarranted and unworkable.

Read our full paper on the differences between Massachusetts and California.

An individual mandate is not only impractical, we don’t believe it’s the direction that health care should go – cleaving people apart as individuals, rather than pooling people together as a community.

Neither Kaiser nor Perata’s plan even bring California to the same level as Massachusetts before its new law was passed – particularly with respect to funding for county hospitals and Medi-Cal. California would need to spend up to $30 billion more in its public infrastructure to get to the same level as Massachusetts.

Another flaw: Perata’s individual mandate does not make any exemption for workers if coverage is not affordable. Massachusetts’ new law does.

To read more see our paper on individual mandates, and a one-pager explaining the difference between Massachusetts and California *before* Massachusetts passed its law.

More comments on the proposals to come.

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

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