Shirley Ballinger: A healthcare system that puts patient needs first | TheUnion.com

Shirley Ballinger: A healthcare system that puts patient needs first

California legislators recently introduced a hodge-podge health-care package they say will provide more residents with insurance coverage through a series of patches and tweaks to our already convoluted and inefficient system.

Their proposals build on the ACA, a system that has tragically demonstrated that insurance "coverage," with its huge out-of-pocket costs, forces many to skip care even if they are paying for premiums. Why would we want to expand a system designed to enrich the health insurance industry by restricting and denying care to so many?

It's time for California to lead the nation by adopting the Medicare-for-all type system proposed in the Healthy California Act, SB562, sponsored by the California Nurses Association.

Critics of SB 562, say it would cost too much. On the contrary, it would save billions and cover everyone, regardless of their economic or immigration status. It is our current health-care system that costs too much. We pay far more than other nations and get far less, including poorer health outcomes and a reduced life span.

SB 562 will save billions of dollars and save lives. We can and must do both.

Shirley Ballinger

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