Advocates Will Deliver Patients on Stretchers to Gov’s Office & Ask Him to “Resuscitate California Health Care”
Santa Monica, CA — Patient advocates, nurses, and business owners will attempt to deliver two patients on stretchers to Governor Schwarzenegger at his office in Los Angeles today and ask him to “Resuscitate California Health Care” by signing universal health care legislation, SB 840.Â The bill has passed the Senate and the Assembly.
SB 840Â will cut insurers, HMOsÂ andÂ unnecessary middlemenÂ out of the health care system and cover everyone in a public insurance pool. The public insurance program will utilize the money wasted by private insurers on CEO salaries, record corporate profits, and advertising to provide better health care for all Californians.
The bill is expected to the save Californians $8 billion off what we are currently spending and provide care for the 7 million Californians without coverage.Â For more information, go to: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/healthcosts.
“Millions of working families and small business owners are just one premium increase away from losing coverage.Â Â 1 out of 5 Californians are already uninsured.Â By 2010, employers will provide health care to less than half of California workers. Under the California Health Plan, the billions of dollars now wasted on CEO pay, record corporate profits, overhead and advertising will be used to provide good, affordable care for all who need it,” said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
“Only by insuring everyone in a new California Health Plan that leverages the state’s buying power and focuses on preventive care can we provide higher quality, affordable health care to all Californians,” said Flanagan.
State regulators recently approved a merger of HMO giants PacifiCare of California with UnitedHealth. All Californians will likely face higher health care costs as a result. At stake is $834 million in excess reserves and bonuses for PacifiCare executives — enough money to provide health care for 278,000 Californians for an entire year.Â
For more information about health insurance mergers and their costs to patients, go to: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/healthcosts.
FTCR released an Internet shooter game this week, “Nurse Avenger,” that allows players to fight insurer greed.Â The game is available at: http://www.CalHealthPlan.org. 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.
In the fast-paced game, the player is awarded points for fighting mobster-styledÂ insurance company and HMO and insurance reps trying to kill a patient in a hospital bed.Â Special weapons include: Waste Whacker (HMOs & health insurers waste 25% of our money on overhead and profit), Salary Sucker, Voice Mail Avenger, and a Purchasing Power Mega Weapon.Â To unleash a special attack, players click on a “Nurse Avenger” icon when it appears on the screen.Â If the player defeats all the HMO bosses, she “saves” the state $8 billion — the predicted annual savings to the state of SB 840.Â
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.Â To view a list of the political contributions from insurers and top company executives, go to: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/HealthInsurance05-06.xls.
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is California’s leading nonpartisan consumer watchdog group.Â For more information, visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.