Vital Times 2017 - 22

ADVOCACY

On Your Behalf
By	Jeffrey	Poage,	MD	|	Chair,	Legislative	and	Practice	Affairs	Division

C

SA
leadership, in
partnership with
our advocates
at KP Public
Affairs, have
been very busy
representing
your interests at
the California
State Legislature and regulating agencies. Below, please
find an update on three key issues we have been working
on in 2017 and into 2018: Single-payer health insurance,
pediatric dental anesthesia, and implementation of AB 72
re: out of network billing.
Should you have questions on these or other advocacy
related issues, please email us directly.
Jeffrey Poage, MD - Chair, Legislative and Practice Affairs
Division, jeff_md@mac.com
Narendra Trivedi, MD, FASA - Chair, Legislative Affairs
Committee, narentrivedi@hotmail.com

Universal Healthcare: A California
Pipedream?
In 2017, Senate Bill 562 was introduced by Senators
Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) and
Toni Atkinson (D-San Diego). The bill was sponsored
by the California Nurses Association and called for
the enactment of the Healthy California Program to
oversee comprehensive universal single-payer healthcare
coverage for all California residents.

22 		|	 	 CSA	Vital	Times

A report issued by the Senate Appropriations Committee
indicated the cost of implementing SB 562 was $400
billion per year - over twice the current State budget
of $183 billion! The bill was passed by the Senate last
June but shelved in the Assembly by Speaker Anthony
Rendon who criticized the plan as being "woefully
incomplete".
RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director of National
Nurses United, blasted Rendon for his decision and said
he was sabotaging Democratic-led efforts to implement
a "Medicare-for-all" type system. According to the
Sacramento Bee: Supporters of SB 562 have been highly
critical of Rendon's approach, suggesting that he killed
the single-payer proposal to protect health insurance
and pharmaceutical companies that contributed to
his campaigns. They've held numerous protests at the
Capitol and even launched a recall campaign against him,
though it has yet to gain traction. Rendon said he also
received over 100 death threats for his decision.
Many state legislators support the concept of universal
healthcare but have concerns about how to pay for it.
According to a survey from the Public Policy Institute,
two-thirds of Californians supported a single payer
system until they learned the plan would raise their
taxes - then support fell dramatically. This being, of
course, prior to the passage of the new Federal Tax Bill
which will no longer allow Californians to deduct the
full amount of their State and Local Taxes (SALT) and
mortgages from their federal income taxes.
A legislative analysis by the Senate Appropriations
Committee suggested a price tag of $400 billion for SB
562. Proponents have argued that half of the dollars



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vital Times 2017

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