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Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Health Care Reform 2011 Part of the Central Valley Education Project Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Bring Federal Health Care Reform Home to California! Sponsored by the California Endowment and
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Since 2001, UULM of California has empowered the moral voice of UU congregations and individuals by educating, organizing, and advocating for public policies that uphold our UU principles. We affirm two key health care values: Good health is essential for every living being Access to affordable, quality health care is a fundamental human right
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California California UUs took action and helped pass federal health reform UUs wrote over 1,000 letters and photograms, made hundreds of phone calls to legislators, participated in rallies across the state, offered UU Voices for Health Care small group ministry sessions in their congregations, sent letters to the editor. UUs shared their stories with state and federal legislators. UUs visited Senator Dianne Feinstein’s four state offices a total of 16 times!
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Three Part Presentation I. Why the U.S. needs federal health care reform II. How federal health reform can help you III. What you can do to implement & improve health care in California
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Part I Why the United States Needs Health Care Reform
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California People are suffering 50 million in U.S. uninsured in January million individuals are uninsured in California Californians are less likely to get coverage through their employer and must buy insurance on their own 44,000 deaths each year due to lack of health insurance 1 person died every 12 minutes Many of these individuals had pre-existing health conditions and could not purchase insurance at any price Because of state budget cuts, fewer “safety net” public health resources for individuals and families
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California US families pay MORE for LESS health care Families in the United States pay more for health care than any other country in the world, but rank only #37 in health outcomes according to the World Health Organization. The United States is the only major industrialized country where for-profit companies provide most people their health insurance. 60% of U.S. bankruptcies due to health costs; 75% of medical bankruptcies happen to people with health insurance.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Part II How Federal Health Reform Can Help YOU
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) covers 32 million previously uninsured people Reduces the federal deficit $650 Billion to $1.3 Trillion by 2019 Brings federal money into California for health care Creates a framework upon which we can build a universal health care system.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California The ACA makes health insurance affordable Medicaid (Medi-Cal) Expands in 2014 Covers people with incomes up to 133% Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (~$29,000 for a family of 4). Includes adults without dependent children. California State Insurance Exchange Begins in to 4 million Californians can purchase affordable, high-quality individual policies online in a state regulated “pool.” Exchange has bargaining power of a very large company Guaranteed coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions Affordability credits provided and out-of-pocket costs limited for individuals and families at % FPL (~$88,000 for family of four) California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Started in 2010 Provides coverage today for individuals with pre-existing conditions Funding for program—$40 million—from the federal government Eliminates the “Hidden Tax” paid by individuals with insurance. No co-pays for preventive care visits and screenings.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Protects consumers from insurance company abuses End of policy recessions for minor mistakes on initial health questionnaires. Lifetime insurance payout limits banned and annual limits phased out. Insurance companies can no longer deny policies to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Premium rate hikes of over 10% for individual insurance plans require review by California insurance regulators. Equal premiums for women and men beginning Health plan premiums only vary based on age (3:1 ratio), geographic area, tobacco use (1.5: 1 ratio), and number of family members. Private insurance companies must spend 80% to 85% of premiums on medical care or provide rebates to consumers.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Guaranteed issue for children with pre-existing health conditions Prohibits insurers from denying children up to age 19 for coverage because of pre-existing conditions Insurers cannot charge sick children more than 2x the cost of coverage for healthy child To lock in best premium rate, parents must enroll their children in “open enrollment period:” Feb 28, 2011, birthday month, or with major life changes.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California The ACA helps young adults Lowers Costs for Young Adults No co-pays for preventive care visits and screenings Security of Insurance Coverage Young adults can now be covered on parents’ plan until age 26. Estimated to impact over 4 million young adults nationwide.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Federal reform helps “Baby Boomers” ages 50 to 64 8.5 million baby boomers are without insurance and another 9.7 million are underinsured with high out-of-pocket cost policies. 8.2 million baby boomers will gain coverage in Baby boomers can purchase individual insurance today in California’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Reinsurance program supports employers and union-based plans covering early retirees. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) provides a daily payment for in-home services
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Federal health helps seniors Part D Doughnut Hole closed by 2020 Prescription drug costs could shrink $700 for a typical Medicare beneficiary with Medicare Part D This year drug companies will give seniors 50% off brand drugs while in the gap Free preventive health services such as vaccinations and cancer screenings and personalized prevention plans
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Medicare rates stay steady Part A – Hospital Coverage No change Part B – Doctor & Outpatient Care No change No reduction in payments to doctors in 2011 Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans Reduction in payments for administrative costs. Medicare says the reductions are fair because the plans are paid $1,000 more per person on average than the traditional fee- for-service program spends on a typical senior. Part D – Prescription Coverage Doughnut Hole Closed by 2020
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Federal reform helps women Choice of providers, direct access to Ob/Gyn Care End of higher premiums for women than men No fees or co-pays for essential female health screenings, but limits on some reproductive health services. Watch out for H.R. 3 --No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act “Hyde Amendment on Steroids” Deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions Block anyone with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Federal health reform helps low income families $11 Billion for Community Health Clinics Security for Californians on MediCal and Healthy Families Expanded MediCal Coverage. In 2014, Medicaid coverage expands to cover individuals with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level Counties can expand MediCal coverage before 2014.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California ACA helps small businesses offer health benefits 4 million small businesses and non-profits qualify for tax credits that cover up to 35% of employees’ insurance premiums (increases to 50% in 2014) Small businesses are already responding to promise of tax credits and offering insurance coverage to employees Small employers can purchase employee health benefits through the State Insurance Exchange beginning 2014
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California We Can Do Better! Areas Needing Improvement Fair access to health care for immigrants Legal immigrants 5-year waiting period, but can purchase insurance through a state insurance exchange. Undocumented immigrants have NO guaranteed access to Medi-Cal or the State Insurance Exchange. Mental health parity in private insurance plans Coverage of maternity care in all private plans Adult dental and vision care in MediCal Early implementation of MediCal expansion State regulation of insurance premiums increases Full coverage of women’s reproductive health
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Part III What You Can Do to Implement & Improve Health Care in California
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Proposed Budget Cuts Will Hurt Essential Safety Net Services Hard Caps on Care: Limit doctor/clinic visits to 10/year Limit prescription drugs to 6 per month (with no exceptions unless for life- saving drugs) Establish maximum benefit dollar caps on medical supplies (e.g., wound care, incontinence supplies) and durable medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs and hearing aids) New Costs for Care: $100/day for hospital stays, up to a maximum $200 $50 co-payment for emergency room visits $5 co-payment for doctor visits and prescriptions Eliminate Adult Day Care: 37,000 seniors will lose services at 330 adult day health care centers Eliminate Vision Care for Children: About $11.3 million of the cuts will be achieved by eliminating vision services to the almost 1 million Healthy Families enrolled children.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California California 2011 legislation to watch AB 154 (Beall) Requires private insurance policies to treat any mental illness defined in the DSM IV.” AB 52 (Feuer)/SB 51 (Alquist) Require approval from the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance for increases in health care premiums, co-payments, or deductibles. AB 181 (Portantino) Foster youth: mental health bill of rights. Maternity Coverage in Private Health Plans Joint Venture County MediCal Plans SB 56 by Alquist in 2010 Single Payer May be SB810. Will be by Sen. Leno Apples to Apples Comparison of Ins. Plans—Alquist SB 890 in 2010 AB 3632 Funding On October 8, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed $133 million in funding for services through county mental health departments to special education students who need mental health services to stay in school.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Latest information on Single Payer in 2011 Sen. Leno working to procure “SB 810” number for the bill. Single Payer bill in 2011 will include more information on how the transition will be funded. Looking to commission a study on cost savings with Single Payer and start-up costs. Movement to add Single Payer bill to statewide ballot in 2012 or SB56-like bill creating joint venture systems with multiple counties for MediCal care. An opportunity for California to experience a positive experience with a public option program.
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California You can help make universal health care a reality! Share your health care story! Elected officials and the media want to know how health reform is helping you. Sign up for alerts and advocacy opportunities with UULM at Push your county officials for an aggressive implementation of the MediCal Waiver program so they can cover more low-income families before 2014 Share this information with your family, friends and community!
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Additional resources UU Legislative Ministry of CA: Health Access: EQUAL: Kaiser Family Foundation: U.S. ACA education website: PICO: National Immigration Law Center: The Healing of America by T.R. Reid. © 2009 Available at your local bookstore or online book website. UU Voices for Health Care Curriculum This free, adaptable seven-session healthcare curriculum educates and empowers us to take action within our communities. Each session is self contained. Download for free at
Rev ©2011 Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California Thank you! The CVEP project is sponsored by HEALTH ACCESS CALIFORNIA, a statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, advocating for the goal of quality, affordable health care for all Californians. Go to for more information CVEP Partners: EQUAL Health Network: a program of the Center for Policy Analysis dedicated to producing thoughtful, reliable information on policies that affect the public’s health. Imagen Public Relations LLC : Headed by PR pro, Virginia Madueño, imagen is recognized as one of the preeminent marketing/public relations companies in California. This presentation is brought to you by the Central Valley Education Project & UULM CA
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