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Friday, July 5, 2013

Essay on the California Universal Healthcare Act

A Public Health Policy Analysis Paper: Essay on the California Universal Healthcare Act
            Senate Bill 810 was through the efforts of Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). According to Senator Leno, “California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which has a significant impact on the state budget, businesses and families. Our single payer plan not only guarantees universal coverage for all Californians, but also contains health care costs, which is essential to solving our state budget crisis in the long term.” This health care bill is in support for the Affordable Care Act endorsed by President Barack Obama. In recent years, health care has become a major priority among states in the US and California is one of the most aggressive in starting a trend towards effective and efficient health care services.

            The bill has gained support from various stakeholders. Just recently, the bill was approved by the Senate Health Committee. This is a important hurdle to overcome considering that health care bills have been a debated issue in various circles. A group of medical practitioners including majority of doctors and nurses in California have voiced their support to the bill. Based on current figures, some 2 million Californians, which include patients, households, and various professionals have lined up to push for the enactment of SB 810. The clamor for health care reform centers on the government capacity to ensure that cheap services are available for the population. Legislations that address these issues will likely get majority support from all stakeholders.

            California allocates an estimated amount of $200 billion for the current health care programs. These massive spending has proven to be inefficient and approximately 30 percent of the funds are wasted because of the fragmented system. The bill not only improves the system bu the spending method as well. About $8 billion is expected to be saved during the first year after he bill is enacted. Then the savings are projected to increases every year because of the system being contracted. Given the many problems the State has in different areas, the capacity to spend better is critical. California is in dire need of this reform because health care is a must.

            SB 810 seeks to establish a single-payer government-run agency that will organize a system providing complete and comprehensive health care services to Californians. The services will be funded by the State and patients have the capacity to choose their preferred professional health care service provider. The benefits offered by the proposed system include diagnoses and treatment for diseases. One of the goals of the system is to ensure the mental and physical health of Californians. Other health care services include surgeries, emergency cases, hospital confinement, case management, home-based health care services, day care, and hospice.

            Before the system goes full implementation, a period of four years is allotted for the transition. The period also includes the time needed for the development and design of the system. The government will have a hands-on approach in the financing, processes, and oversight of the project. It is important that the State Secretary of Human and Health Services notify the higher ups in the government that funding is sufficient. The system aims to combine modern health care technology and methodologies. Tapping of private partners could be considered given the enormity and complexity of the project.

            The system to be developed features several checks and balances in the technical, operational, and administrative aspects. Moreover, the government has to ensure the financial sustainability of the project. Since California is a huge State, regional planning will be done to identify the needs of the citizens. The planning is also important in preventing duplication of medical equipment. The members of the project’s technical working group would come from different stakeholders from medical professionals to common individuals. Policy experts would also participate in the planning process.

Health Care For All – California. “What Is the California Universal Healthcare Act (SB 810)?”
2012. <>
Health Care Now. “California Single Payer Health Care Bill Passes Health Committee.” 5 May
2011. <>

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1 comment:

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