This is the second one of the CHIRA series (CHIRA – Part II) referencing my response to a letter from California State Senator Jeff Denham, which indicates that State legislative leaders (or their staff) are not necessarily aware of pertinent information, and certainly the general population generally are even less well informed if they do not take the effort to investigate the issue fully.

For Californians, this is the year to make a difference by letting your legislators know how you feel.  For non-Californians, you may want to pass information along to your friends in California, and maybe you can use some of the ideas in your own state.

I have no belief that we will ever have a rational National Health Plan because of the corruption of our federal government (the other subject of this web log 🙂, but we may get enough states headed in the right direction to have a very positive effect.

Thank you.
—–Original Message—–
 Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 9:50 AM
To: Senator Denham
Subject: RE: Senate Bill 840
Senator Denham:
I appreciate your response to my letter, although I deeply disagree with your position on SB 840.  There is no other rational approach to eliminating unnecessary costs, duplicated and wasteful public and private sector bureaucracies and medical care rationed according to the vagaries of employment, insurability and economic status. A “massive new state bureaucracy” would not be necessary.  The current taxes and insurance premiums are more than sufficient to provide better administration and medical coverage.  I speak from over 30 years of experience working within the health care industry and from the personal experience of having to pay over $1700 a month to a for-profit insuror for high deductible medical insurance coverage for me and my wife.
The general population has not sufficiently investigated this approach to health care delivery and, unfortunately, it is difficult to break through the vast amount of misinformation that is spread about a universal coverage single payer system.  Were they to truly evaluate the facts, there would be overwhelming support for this delivery system. 
I sincerely hope that you will look in more detail at SB 840 and revise your position on its value to California and, as a model, to the rest of the nation. I am forwarding for your consideration a link to a Medscape editoral site with my published comments on SB 840:   The letter is one of those published in response to Dr. Lundberg’s editorial on health system reform.   
Thank you.
—–Original Message—–
From: Senator Denham [mailto:Senator.Denham@SEN.CA.GOV]
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:52 PM
Subject: RE: Senate Bill 840
Thank you for your letter regarding Senate Bill 840, relating to Universal Health Care for the State of California.  I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
I understand your concerns regarding the issue of health care access, however, I do not believe a universal health system is the answer.  The cost of setting up a massive new state bureaucracy to run a state universal health care system would be prohibitive, particularly given the state’s current fiscal situation. It would undoubtedly force new or increased taxes on Californians.  Additionally, there are serious questions concerns about the impacts such a system would have on the quality and delivery of health care services.
The voters spoke to the issue of government-mandated healthcare coverage when they defeated Proposition 72 in the November 2004 election.  It was clear that the majority of Californians did not support a healthcare system that would fundamentally restructure healthcare in California and result in broad social and economic changes.
These issues come up regularly, and I will keep your views in mind when approaching such matters.  Please know that I support fiscally responsible programs that aim to improve health coverage for California’s residents.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me.  While we may not agree on this particular issue, I am sure there are many others we do agree on.  Should you need any information or assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Senator, 12th District

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