Paula Orloff: Senator Gaines and health-care tax scare | TheUnion.com

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Paula Orloff: Senator Gaines and health-care tax scare

Perhaps Gaines is out to lunch … with the health insurance and drug companies when objecting to the Healthy California Act because of "tax rates beyond imagination."

Gaines' scare tactic overlooks the state and feds coverage of $225 billion for Medicare, Medicaid and tax credits. With SB 562, those funds would be pooled, and $331 billion would be needed to cover everyone. That requires an additional $106 billion, not the $400 billion he'd like you to believe.

A tax of 2.3 percent would be leveed on non-essential purchases, and the 2.3 percent on gross business income above $2 million would replace employee health premiums at a considerable savings. This funding would complete the $331 billion for full coverage, including dental and vision.

The Healthy California financial report calculates a conservative 18 percent savings over private insurance by eliminating premiums, copays, deductibles, advertising, lobbying and the bureaucracy of thousands of different policies. Private insurance's overhead is 20 to 30 percent of every dollar compared to 3 percent for Medicare. Also, drug prices will be negotiated as the Vets Administration does. Families would realize savings and expanded coverage. With SB 562, patients and doctors choose the treatment instead of for profit health insurance companies.

Paula Orloff

Nevada City