Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Cheering for Health Care Reform in California

The California Assembly has passed and has sent to the State Senate a bill to reform health care in California. The Governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, is eager to sign the bill in the form passed by the Assembly. The President Pro-Tem of the Senate has stated that the Senate will take its time in considering the bill. In particular, he is concerned about the effect of the proposed plan on the financial condition of the State. California has a structural deficit, caused by the unwillingness of the various factions in the legislature to adjust tax rates to cover the planned expenditures or to reduce the planned expenditures to match what the tight-wad faction in the legislature will accept.

The AARP has issued an E-mail to just about anyone who will receive it expressing cheers for the measure. It's natural that the AARP would cheer this measure. The AARP was founded by an insurance company and the California Plan, like the Massachusetts Plan, would reward insurance companies by providing them with a large population that is required by law to buy health insurance.

It is said that Americans will always do the right thing, in the end, after having tried all the alternatives. This legal requirement for everyone to buy health insurance is the alternative of choice for now. California is a good place to test the plan and discover its weaknesses and its basic contradictions. Perhaps in ten years Americans will be ready to try something else. In the meantime, people like myself who have satisfactory health care access will continue to enjoy good health care and poor people who can't afford the premiums that insurance companies will charge for good coverage will continue to put up with poor coverage.

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