Senator Janet Nguyen: Health Care is also a Human Right!




Janet Nguyen recently became a symbol of Human Rights for a significant segment of the OC community. Her removal from the Senate floor when she kept on speaking in a ceremony dedicated to the late Tom Hayden, was interpreted as a violation of her right to freedom of expression, which even horrified the upstanding guardian of our county’s political ethics. *sarcasm*  This is on top of her experience of what life is under a regime that is considered to systematically violate human rights.

Regardless of the merits of whether Senator Nguyen’s rights were violated or not, and the tendency to ignore that the violation of human rights also occurred in places other than Cuba and Vietnam, such as under the many South American military dictatorships, her episode put into the spotlight the importance of human rights.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Health Care IS a human right.  Arguments over whether health care is a privilege or a right, of the ideological pure free market vs public participation in the allocation and management of resources in healthcare, have become increasingly obsolete.  Both the pre-Obamacare health care system and the current one have demonstrated their inadequacy, and the need to adopt an efficient one along the lines of the Medicare program is increasingly clear.

The Healthy California Act, SB 562, is the proposed plan to guarantee quality Health Care for all, while bypassing the profiteering private health insurance industry. The bill will have its first hearing in the Senate Health Committee this Wednesday, April 26th.  The hearing is critical to moving the bill forward.

Senator Nguyen is the vice-chair of this committee.  I hope that she will extend her understanding of human rights to include Health Care, by supporting this bill.

Please call your State Senator:

  • Janet Nguyen (714) 741-1034, or (916) 651-4034
  • Josh Newman (714) 671-9474, or (916) 651-4029
  • John Moorlach (714) 662-6050, or (916) 651-4037
  • Patricia Bates (760) 642-0809, or (916) 651-4036

If you can attend the hearing in Sacramento, a bus will be leaving from Lakewood (Long Beach/Orange County): Lakewood Shopping Center, 5252 Faculty Avenue, (park between Black Angus and George’s Creek Café); leaves at 4:15 am.

What is the Healthy California Act (SB 562)?

When enacted, the Healthy California Act will guarantee that every resident of California will receive comprehensive healthcare services. It’s like Medicare for All. Individuals will have free choice of licensed health professionals and services. Covered benefits will include services to keep people healthy—mentally and physically—as well as those services that diagnose and treat diseases. In addition to emergency services, surgeries, and hospital stays, services such as home health care, day care and hospice are covered. Vision and dental care are also included. The Healthy California Act has been crafted to provide a single high standard of safe, therapeutic care for all California residents in a manner that is financially sustainable:

  • Guarantees healthcare to ALL California residents.
  • Choose any provider. No more surprise bills. No out-of-pocket costs for covered services.
  • Eliminates co-pays for Medicare Part B.
  • Lower prescription drug costs.
  • The advances from the Affordable Care Act will be improved upon in the new system.
  • Huge cost-savings from reduced insurance company bureaucracy. No more insurance company run-around, no more bill collectors.
  • A payroll and income premium, which is higher for upper income earners, would replace insurance company premiums, co-pays and deductibles. No more double-digit premium increases.
  • Diverse participants will advise and help design the Healthy California program including: health care professionals and health policy experts, patients and ordinary citizens, representatives of labor and business.

Healthy California is a campaign of over 4 million Californians building a statewide movement to win guaranteed healthcare for ALL California residents. We represent over 150 community and labor organizations made up of nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, union members, business leaders, faith and immigrant rights community, progressive political organizations, healthcare advocates and providers.

About Ricardo Toro

Anaheim resident for several decades. In addition to political blogging, another area of interest is providing habitats for the Monarch butterfly.