Santa Monica, CA — The California Assembly today passed universal health care legislation for the first time ever in its history that will cut out insurers and unnecessary middlemen and cover everyone in a public insurance pool.
By removing insurance company waste and profiteering, SB 840 is expected to save CaliforniansÂ $8 billion each year off what we are currently spending and provide coverage to the 6.5 million Californians that lack coverage.Â For more information go to:Â http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/cal-medicare.
“Today’s vote is an historic victory for universal health care regardless of whether this particular bill becomes law.Â When a body like the Assembly that is dominated by big industry is willing to take a vote to cut insurers out it says a lot about the public outcry for health reform. This vote is an important stepping stone toward change,” said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). “1 out of 5 Californians is uninsured.Â Millions of working families are just one premium increase away from losing coverage.Â Under the California Health Plan, the billions of dollars now wasted on insurance middlemen, CEO pay, record corporate profits, overhead and advertising will be used to provide good, affordable care for all who need it.’
FTCR released today an internet shooter game, “Nurse Avenger,” that allows players to fight insurer greed.Â The game is available at:Â http://www.calhealthplan.org.Â On the website players can sign up to help fight for universal health care — called the California Health Plan — and send a fax to legislators urging them to pass SB 840.
Compared to private insurers, public health insurance programs like that proposed in the California Health Plan (http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/cal-medicare) typically spend only 2% to 3% on overhead.
Insurers have spent $3.7 million in campaign contributions in California since 2005.Â Governor Schwarzenegger, who alone has received $765,000 from health insurers, has said he will veto the bill.Â Â To view a list of the political contributions from insurers and top company executives, go to:Â http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/HealthInsurance05-06.xls.
– 30 –
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is the state’s leading nonpartisan consumer advocacy group.Â For moreÂ information go to:Â http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.