Experts Expound

Experts Expound: Universal health care

Everybody’s talking about it, so we though we’d ask our experts:

“Universal health care: Do we want it, will we get it? If so, when?”

Here’s what they told us.

“The fight for universal health care is now in its 105th year with no truce in sight. So far, neither side is willing to fully address the costs and the required rationing (No we can’t have it all for free), nor will they acknowledge that every other country’s health care system has a mix of payers including employers, government (taxpayers) and healthcare consumers. Oh wait! That sounds just like what we already have….”

“When Bernie Sanders gets elected president.”

“Some want it, most don’t understand it and we won’t get it with the current governor or president.”

“Everybody wants it. Nobody wants to pay for it. California Nurses Association political malpractice killed its chances for the foreseeable future in CA. Not happening ever in DC.”

“You won’t be getting it anytime soon.”

“Of course we want it. We also want free ice cream for breakfast but last time I checked, Hell hasn’t frozen over yet!”

“Government can’t provide everything.  At some point everyone needs some skin in the game.”

“Absolutely, we want it. But we won’t get it, because nobody wants to foot the bill. Of 60 countries surveyed by USNews in its health care study, the U.S. wasn’t even in the Top 10. (Denmark was No. 1, U.S. was 15th). France, Germany, England all have better systems than we do. Politically, it’s a titanic battle with HMOs paying whatever it takes to block it, followed by every other medical special interest group on earth. Forget it, folks. Sanders is dreaming.”

“I have many Canadian relatives who ridicule us Americans for requiring people to be well off to afford health care. None of the many countries that have universal health care has ever decided to get rid of it. Nonetheless, the wide consensus that would be required to implement and finance it is not there. A generation away, at least, unfortunately.”

“Universal Health care, yes. Reckless zealotry, no. It’ll be years. And we won’t have to go it alone.”

“The Founders designed the states as experiments so they could be examples for each other. No one ever said they had to be good examples. California is one of the best bad examples.  Bring on universal care or single-payer or whatever they call it. It will fail and bring down the state.”

“Even if we want it, which we may, nobody can really define what “it” is and how it would be paid for so everyone has skin in the game. Medicare for all??? Better to first fix Obamacare, and the U.S. Senate may now be poised to give that the first shot.”

“Want it? Yeah. Most polls show that voters want single-payer. Get it?  Any bill would have to overcome an entrenched, wealthy special interest because it would do away with the health-insurance business, which buys legislators on both sides of the aisle like you and I buy six packs.  When? To quote Johnny Mathis — the twelfth of never.”

“For starters, a majority of Californians believe ACA has been successful but needs tweaks.  I also believe more than the majority of Californians support the concept of universal health care for ALL Californians.  But the details really do matter.  Affordability is critical, as is taking care of pre-existing conditions.  And the cost to the State would impact the outcome of a vote on the ballot.”

“In recent polling I’m familiar with, “Single payer” is not a concept understood by the majority of voters.  It is a subject that progressive activists are pushing, but if they spent as much time educating voters on what it is as they do pushing their point of view, they’d be much better off.  And, while there is disarray in Washington, voters don’t understand why anyone would be moving into a different system for just Californians.”

“So, I believe a plan to insure that all Californians have health coverage will happen only after it is clear what is the end result of what is going on in Washington.  It only makes sense to move a California specific plan if and only if too many Californians lose their coverage.  Then an initiative or a legislative plan would have more success and would make more sense.”
The people from whom we solicited opinions include the following: Andrew Acosta, Hector Barajas, Mike Belote, Mike Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Richard Costigan, J Dale Debber, Bryce Docherty, Mike Donovan, Rex Frazier, Nicole Mahrt Ganley, Sandy Harrison, Fiona Hutton, Gale Kaufman, Jason Kinney,  Steven Maviglio, Mike Madrid, Mike MeCey, Jacob Mejia, Aaron McLear, Paul Mitchell, Barbara O’Connor, Matt Rexroad, Mike Roth,  Sheri Sadler, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Paula Treat,  Ben Tulchin, Angie Wei.



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