Governor Schwarzenegger’s Health care Plan for uninsured

Bulletin: Just received from the honorable Chuck DeVore, Assemblyman 70th District. Reprinted with his permission.

Today Governor Schwarzenegger’s Administration unveiled his much anticipated universal healthcare proposal. It hikes taxes on business and it provides about a quarter-billion dollars of new government benefits to illegal immigrants.

Some of my concerns about the Governor’s plan will be aired on KABC Channel 7 News in Los Angeles at 5:03 PM this evening. The Governor proposes to spend about $12 billion (about half of which may be underwritten by federal taxpayers) to cover the roughly 6.5 million people in California without health insurance. He would do this by making individuals, business, hospitals, doctors, and insurers bear some of the cost.

As a cost-saving move, the Governor is proposing to make more able-bodied welfare recipients work or lose their benefits. This complies with Federal requirements. The change impacts a large number of U.S. Citizens. There may be an irony here in that while U.S. Citizens are being cut-off, benefits to illegal immigrants are being increased.

Of the many troublesome aspects to this proposal, here are a few of the most objectionable:

California taxpayers would pay the entire $2,000 per year per family cost of underwriting health insurance for the illegal immigrants with children for a total of about $250 million. This is on top of the $400 million we spend every year to pay an average of almost $4,000 per birth for the more than 105,000 illegal immigrants who give birth in California (about 43 percent of Medi-Cal-funded deliveries are to illegal immigrants)!
California taxpayers would pay for health care coverage for 1.2 million people who cannot afford health coverage now – and a new government-run insurance plan would be created.
Businesses with 10 or more employees would have to offer health insurance or pay a new 4 percent tax (so much for the “no new taxes” pledge). Of course, one of big reasons why health insurance has become increasingly costly in California is because of all of the mandated coverage the Legislature has demanded. Every time politicians require a new kind of coverage the cost of even the most basic health insurance goes up.

Instead, we should consider voting to conform with Federal tax law that allows for pre-tax payroll deductions to set up Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) paired with high deductible health insurance plans. California is one of only a handful of states that has not yet approved HSAs. HSAs work and they hold down medical costs by making people more aware of the true costs of consuming various types of medical services.

Clearly, there will be sustained discussion over the Governor’s plan – and there needs to be to protect the taxpayers and prevent more government benefit entitlements that encourage illegal immigrants to settle in California.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore

State Assemblyman, 70th District

About Larry Gilbert