Monday, December 17, 2007

California Nurse Say's "Pull The Plug"

Donna Gerber is displeased by the state of affairs in Sacramento, and when the Director of Government Relations for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee is displeased she is not shy about it. Today she cut loose, using the California Progress Report, a progressive website, as her pulpit to let the powers that be know exactly what she thinks of current attempts at health care reform.

Comparing the rush to pass some form of health care legislation during this state legislative session with the rush to deregulate energy in the 1990's, she warns of hasty legislation with unforeseen consequences with the health care equivalent of rolling blackouts.

With the Assembly posed to vote Monday on the latest iteration of a sweeping bill, it is time to pull the plug. Let's step back, take action instead on an immediate health crisis and come back next year to enact a better, more comprehensive health reform plan that will actually solve our healthcare morass.

Thousands of California children now face the cutoff of coverage due to the President’s veto of the children's health program. Further, the governor is expected to propose emergency across the board budget cuts up to 10 percent as a result of the worsening budget deficit. We should all focus on guaranteeing continued coverage for children and protecting current programs rather than rushing through a bad plan that could just exacerbate the crisis for California families and the state.
AB1X, the health care reform bill she refers to, "will not be universal, it will not be affordable, it will not be of high quality, and bare bone plans with high out of pocket costs will be forced upon Californians and employers who will have no control over the price. This hardly seems to match up with what the pollsters say the people of California want." She drives her point home with facts, one after the other in rapid succession.

From the fact that wage garnishments will be enacted in some cases to ensure coverage to the simple fault that it does not guarantee affordable care to all Californians, the points she raises provoke and disturb. When compared to the stated goal of universal health care her list is an amazing array of loopholes, gaps, and counterintuitive elements; the lack of any limit on premiums or co-pays alone should raise eyebrows at the very least.

SOURCE: "Time to Pull the Plug on the Flawed California Health Care Deal" 12/17/07
photo courtesy of redking remixed and used under this Creative Commons license

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