In this letter to the editor, I outlined several systemic problems which contribute to the homelessness issue and some ideas re correcting them. We just have to have the political will to do so. Unfortunately, I neglected to entitle it, so the editor came up with a more generic title, but it was on the topic of homelessness and the reasons behind it. I am using the date that it was originally published in this post.
More people file bankruptcy in this country for medical bills than for any other reason. Healthcare reform is very much needed in order to rein in skyrocketing costs and offer services to everyone in need of medical care.
A bill was introduced in the state legislature last year, SB 562, the Healthy California Act, which was passed by the State Senate, but stalled in the Assembly because the Speaker of the Assembly placed it in the Rules Committee and wouldn’t allow it to come to the floor for a vote in last year’s legislative session.
SB 562 is a Single Payer bill which corrects the core problem of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, by taking the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals out of the middle of healthcare. If you believe like I do that health care is a human right, this bill needs our support; we must put pressure on the Speaker, Anthony Rendon, to let the bill onto the floor so it may be amended and put to a vote.
We can not only cover everyone for everything, do away with co-pays and deductibles, but save approximately $37 billion annually by switching to Single Payer healthcare by passing the Healthy California Act. Why? Because Single Payer would be similar to Medicare (a single payer system), which operates on around a 3% overhead vs. around a 26% overhead for insurance companies. This is because in a for-profit healthcare system, tens of millions of dollars go to CEO salaries and shareholder payouts every year, allowing insurance companies and pharmaceuticals to make millions of dollars by profiteering off patients’ suffering and death.
This is not only cruel and inhumane, but predatory, and needs to be replaced by a system which covers everyone, regardless of age or health, and does not profit off people’s illness. What is needed is a shift in priorities in government so that people’s needs, not corporate greed, come first.