New York Times: Single-Payer Health Care in California: Here’s What It Would Take

By Patricia Cohen and Reed Abelson

New York Times

  • May 25, 2018

  • All the leading Democratic contenders in the June 5 primary have pledged support for a single-payer system run by the state. The front-runner, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, has made it the centerpiece of his campaign.

“There’s no reason to wait around on universal health care and single-payer in California,” he has declared.

Even beyond California, many Democrats are hoping to energize supporters by taking a cue from Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, which embraced a single-payer system, “Medicare for All.” But the idea primarily functions as a rallying cry.

“Voters are thinking about the fundamental values associated with single-payer,” said Kelly Hall, an independent health consultant who works with the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers in California, which has endorsed Mr. Newsom. “Almost zero voters have thought about the policy implications.”

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Dan Geiger
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll – March 2018: Views on Prescription Drug Pricing and Medicare-for-all Proposals

Majority support Medicare for all

Ashley Kirzinger Follow @AshleyKirzinger on TwitterBryan Wu, and Mollyann Brodie Follow @Mollybrodie on Twitter
Published: Mar 23, 2018

Key Findings:

  • The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that more than a year into President Trump’s presidency, half of the public (52 percent) say passing legislation to bring down the price of prescription drugs should be a “top priority” for President Trump and Congress. Yet, less than half of the public (39 percent) say they are confident that President Trump and his administration will be able to deliver on the promise that Americans will pay less for prescription drugs than they pay now.

    72% of Americans say drug companies have too much influence in Washington – more than say the same about the National Rifle Association

  • Pharmaceutical companies rank among the top organizations that the public – including majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans – say has “too much influence” in Washington. Seven in ten (72 percent) say pharmaceutical companies have “too much influence,” which is similar to other entities like large businesses and Wall Street, but much higher than the shares of the public who say the National Rifle Association (NRA), hospital groups, or doctors groups have “too much influence” (52 percent, 36 percent, 30 percent, respectively). There is stronger agreement among partisans on the influence of pharmaceutical companies with majorities of both Democrats (65 percent) and Republicans (74 percent) saying pharmaceutical companies have “too much influence” in Washington.

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Dan Geiger
Gubernatorial Hopefuls Look To Health Care For Election Edge

California Healthline

By Pauline BartoloneMay 7, 2018

California’s leading gubernatorial candidates agree that health care should work better for Golden State residents: Insurance should be more affordable, costs are unreasonably high, and robust competition among hospitals, doctors and other providers could help lower prices, they told California Healthline.

What they don’t agree on is how to achieve those goals — not even the Democrats who represent the state’s dominant party.

“Health care gives them the perfect chance to crystalize that divide” between the left-wing progressives and the “moderate pragmatists” of the Democratic Party, said Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California-San Diego.

Consider the top two Democratic candidates, who both aim to cover everyone in the state, including immigrants living here without authorization.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — billed as a liberal Democrat — supports a single-payer health care system. That means gutting the health insurance industry to create one taxpayer-funded health care program for everyone in the state.

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Dan Geiger
Charlie Munger: Health-care providers 'are artificially prolonging death so they can make more money'

Berkeley Lovelace Jr. | @BerkeleyJr

Published 8:50 AM ET Mon, 7 May 2018  Updated 9:25 AM ET Mon, 7 May

  • The U.S. health-care system is "shot through with rampant waste," Charlie Munger tells CNBC.

  • "A lot of the medical care we do deliver is wrong," he says.

  • He claims, "A lot of our medical providers are artificially prolonging death so they can make more money."

Munger: Health-care system is shot through with rampant waste  5:32 PM ET Mon, 7 May 2018 | 05:33

The U.S. health-care system is "shot through with rampant waste" and has become "immoral," billionaire investor Charlie Munger told CNBC on Monday.

"A lot of the medical care we do deliver is wrong — so expensive and wrong. It's ridiculous," Munger, a vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway, said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "A lot of our medical providers are artificially prolonging death so they can make more money," he claimed.

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Dan Geiger
California Health Care Reform and the Impacts on Your Businesses Event at UCLA

California Health Care Reform and the Impacts on Your Businesses
Thursday, June 7, 2018
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
UCLA Anderson, Room B301 (map ) 
110 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

Register HERE

The US spends over 17% of GDP on health care vs 9% for the average of OECD countries, without better outcomes!

  • Do you suffer with the cost of individual insurance plans?

  • Do you struggle with providing health care coverage for your employees?

  • Do you cringe at the rising personnel burden due to annual premium increases?

  • Do you think Covered CA plans are too expensive and not viable over the long term?

If you answered yes to any of the above, join us for a panel discussion followed by Q&A to be moderated by Bruce Willison, UCLA Anderson Dean Emeritus.

Panelists will include: 

  • Professor Deborah Freund from the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation at Claremont Graduate University

  • Dr. Paul Y Song, Physician, Biotech Exec and President of the CA Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program

  • Dan Geiger, Business Consultant and Co-Director of the Business Alliance for a Healthy California.

Come hear about the current state of health care in the US, both cost and benefit.  Consider the impacts on businesses both large and small, including sole-proprietorships and entrepreneurs.  Learn about proposals within the State of California to reduce cost and improve access while maintaining quality of care, including the possible establishment of a single payer health care system.  Become a better informed voter in November!

Enjoy Early Bird Discount now through 5/8! 
Food, beer, wine, and powerful content guaranteed!

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Dan Geiger
Will California fail financially without single-payer health care? Candidates for governor disagree



April 24, 2018 12:01 AM

Updated 3 hours 5 minutes ago

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the frontrunner for California governor says he "doesn't see an alternative" to a taxpayer-financed single-payer health care system run by state government.

If California doesn't drastically reshape the way health care is financed and delivered, he said, soaring health care costs will create a fiscal emergency that could bankrupt the nation's wealthiest and most populous state.

"We're on a path to insolvency," Newsom said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee's Editorial Board this month. "This is the budget. It's not a gross overstatement to say what I just said – insolvency."

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Dan Geiger
Under pressure, California Assembly pitches alternatives to single-payer health care


Sacramento BEE

March 26, 2018 12:01 AM

California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is refusing to advance this year a controversial single-payer health care bill that would dramatically reshape the state's health care financing and delivery system. Instead, he's orchestrating an alternative, narrower approach that seeks to achieve universal coverage and make Obamacare more affordable.

Rendon this year gave lawmakers in his house "autonomy to come up with a package" of health care bills, he said in a recent interview. Now, without engaging the other side in the Senate, the Assembly has unveiled a major legislative push on health care that would expand coverage and lower consumer costs while laying the groundwork for a future system financed by taxpayers.

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Dan Geiger
Advocates for single-payer healthcare play the long game in California


The Mercury News

PUBLISHED: February 18, 2018 at 8:00 am | UPDATED: February 18, 2018 at 9:39 am

By many measures, the rambunctious campaign for a single-payer health care system in California appears to be floundering.

A bill that would replace the existing health care system with a new one run by a single-payer — specifically, the state government — and paid for with taxpayer money remains parked in the Assembly, with no sign of moving ahead. An effort by activists to recall Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon for shelving the bill has gone dormant. And an initiative that would lay the financial groundwork for a future single-payer system has little funding, undercutting its chances to qualify for the ballot.

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Dan Geiger
Opinion: Single-payer provides best cure for California health care

Nurses union says SB 562 is a humane alternative to our dysfunctional and often heartless profit-based health care system.

The Mercury News

PUBLISHED: February 6, 2018 at 6:30 am | UPDATED: February 6, 2018 at 9:24 am

Imagine you are enduring excruciating abdominal pain so severe it forces you to rush to the emergency room. When diagnostic tests conclude it’s ovarian cysts, not an appendicitis, as you feared, your insurance company informs you that they won’t cover the staggering $12,596 bill.

That happened to a Kentucky woman who is “covered” by Anthem, an insurer Californians know well. Anthem is adopting a new policy to deny ER claims it deems “non-urgent,” no matter how long you have been paying for insurance that is apparently useless when you need it the most.

Welcome to our dysfunctional and often heartless health care system, based on profits and ability to pay, and laden with discrimination based on gender, race, age, income and where you live.

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Dan Geiger
Health care, not taxes, is killing American competition


By David Steil

December 6, 2017

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., left, accompanied by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, to unveil their Medicare for All legislation to reform health care. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Congressional Republicans’ biggest argument for their tax plan is that it will increase our country’s economic competitiveness. As a mid-sized business owner and Republican who represented the 31st legislative district in Pennsylvania for 16 years, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no evidence to support Republicans’ claims that cutting taxes for wealthy individuals and large corporations will trickle down to create jobs and raise incomes. In fact, the state of Kansas tested this theory with disastrous consequences for its economy. Instead of increased wages and job creation, residents got cuts in crucial public services like shorter school calendars, delays in infrastructure repairs, and decreased aid to the state’s poorest residents. And never in the history of the United States has economic growth from tax cuts ever covered the loss of revenue.

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Dan Geiger