Opinion: If health reform law dies, California’s working poor would lose


By David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times

If the healthcare reform law is thrown out by theU.S. Supreme Court — as many fear could happen based on the comments of conservative justices — more than 700,000 low-income Californians could lose a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain affordable health insurance.

At stake is what’s known as a Basic Health Plan. This is a system provided for by the reform law, fully funded by the federal government, that would extend coverage to people who may not be able to afford conventional insurance policies but don’t qualify for Medi-Cal.

State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, chairman of the Senate health committee, is the author of legislation that would create a Basic Health Plan in California beginning in 2014. It would provide coverage to about 720,000 people for as little as $30 a month.

But that’s only if the reform law remains intact, providing up to $3 billion in federal funds needed annually to make the program a reality.

“If the court throws out the entire law, that’s the nuclear option,” Hernandez told me. “The Basic Health Plan would lose all funding. It’s what I’m afraid of most.”

Critics of the healthcare reform law focus primarily on its requirement that most people buy insurance or face a modest tax penalty, which is the trade-off for a separate requirement that insurers provide coverage to everyone, regardless of medical condition.

These critics seldom acknowledge other aspects of the law aimed at helping insure some of the roughly 50 million people in this country who now lack coverage.

That’s an act of pure selfishness (even though we’d all benefit from having fewer people relying on emergency services for treatment). It’s also a display of heartlessness unbefitting a country that claims to define itself by love-thy-neighbor Judeo-Christian values.

Read the whole story


About author

This article was written by admin


Comments (10)
  1. earl zitts says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Dear Ed,

    Thanks for fighting for your people. Just don’t forget a bunch of other taxpayers, some just getting by and others with lots of money are being forced to pay for your constitutents.
    Cheap way for you to buy votes.
    Also don’t worry if it is unconstitutional if you can elected again on taxpayers money.

  2. biggerpicture says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Earl, I think we should wait for the opinion of the Supreme Court as to the constitutionality of the Health Care Act instead of buying in to the opinions of the many armchair constitutional experts. And in my opinion those politicians that vociferously oppose this are the ones who are guilty of “Cheap” vote pandering, because they are the ones that feel having a healthy, educated, and more productive populace isn’t worth spending money on!

  3. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Socialism/Liberalism has never worked before, NEVER – why should it work now?

  4. John says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    I dont understand why I have to tolerate people stealing health care from me. If people dont have insurance then they should not be allowed in the hospital. The way it is now, there is no need for someone to have health insurance and I am forced to pay for their emergency care through my health premium. I understand derivitives are too complex for people like PubWorks to understand. But in the current system everyone gets insurance. Only people like me foot the bill. Note people like Pubworks will have no solution to the problem, only more talk about how bad liberals are.

  5. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    John, Your point is intuitively flawed…

    If my point is that liberalism is the problem, and has been proven to be countless times in human history than the answer is ????

    Less liberalism. Don’t you get the logic on that?

    As predicted, those with the capacity to deduce the intuitive logic of my point are fewer and fewer in California because the producer class, the ones that understand history and the power of a free society, they have been moving out of the state for years and will continue too.

    California will collapse as all excessively liberal societies have in the past. The rest of the nation will realize the solution is less liberalism and more ‘free market’ – individual responsibility – respect for others freedoms – respect for individuals rights – respect for life and religious freedom, etc.

    In a word, conservative.

  6. thing fish says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    “If my point is that liberalism is the problem, and has been proven to be countless times”

    No, it hasn’t. Prove it. Define it first, provide specific examples. Currently it is just a straw man that you beat on. And highly subjective.Do you have any independent case studies on this matter?
    What country or state would you identify as being ‘conservative’? What indicators make them better.

    Deregulation of financial markets, greed, and unfunded wars account for more of our debt and economic problems than ‘liberal’ policies like welfare, healthcare, etc.
    That is why you need to make a strong case.

  7. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Thing fish, California is among the most liberal, over regulated, least free states in the country… that is how I see it, whether you see it that way or not is of no concern to me.

    I don’t have to prove anything to you nor do I have to educate you on the definition of liberalism.

    As far as I am concerned, California is as it was predicted it would be – dying from the liberal extremist nature it assumed.

    It’s not new, and it’s ultimate collapse has been predicted for decades.

    Whether you see it that way or not has no relevance. The future will be what it will be.

    Those who predicted it will be assumed to have been correct.

    You can argue and say it’s not so and demand people educate you on the definition of liberalism all you want, who cares?

  8. hikerchick says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Maybe some of the previous commenters would like to apply for the job of standing at the door of the emergency room and turning away men, women, children and of course, babies who are sick and need a doctor’s care. How noble is it to spend a billion dollars + every week on our wars while Americans fall into poverty?

  9. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    Maybe what is needed is a free market so that we can have competitive insurance programs that are not dictated by the government and can be sold across state lines and bring competition back into the market.

    Instead we have insurance that has been designed by the government in collusion with the big insurance companies.

    Anyone that says the government is not at the center of the problem knows NOTHING about the insurance industry.

    EVERY insurance product you buy is dictated by the state government in which it is sold and is sold to you by an insurance agent licensed by the government.

    Government is at the center of the problem along with the progressive liberals running the big insurance companies with all their lobbyists … anyone saying different is ignorant or a lier.

  10. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 5, 2012

    BTY – That includes Obama, and I don’t think he is ignorant.