The Californian (Salinas, CA)
The Legislature made a start toward health care reform last year when it passed SB 2, which will provide health care for 1 million more working people. But it did nothing to rein in spiraling costs. Many Californians are receiving notices from their health insurers that contain premium increases of up to 70 percent for 2004.
There are also more out-of-pocket costs, new co-pays, and higher deductibles.
The results have devastated health care consumers.
Our statewide consumer organization, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a statewide consumer organization, is compiling the stories of individuals whose health care costs are forcing them and their children to settle for a lesser quality of care or no care at all.
The goal is to persuade lawmakers that Sacramento must help contain unconscionable health care costs.
If you have a story to tell, please visit http://www.calhealthconsensus.org and contact us.
Share your tale with others.
Together, we can persuade those who run the government that we need their help.
SB 2 itself is threatened by a referendum to repeal it, supported by the California Chamber of Commerce, which claims high costs make expansion of health care benefits untenable.
FTCR has called on the Legislature and governor to keep SB2, and make the system affordable for consumers and business owners by cracking down on profiteering and waste.
Jerry Flanagan, consumer advocate
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights