California’s campaign for universal health care has a long history

hd-spot.jpgWith House Speaker Paul Ryan pledging to push major Medicare cuts to reduce the added $1 trillion in federal debt created by the huge tax gifts for corporations and the super-rich proposed in versions of the House and Senate tax bill that Republicans are working to reconcile — the urgency mounts for state action to protect the health security of Californians.

The Medicare cuts are just one sign of the health care threats posed by the expected final bill. Among other provisions that could be in the final bill are:

Elimination of the mandate to buy insurance, which analysis suggests would prompt insurers to levy new double-digit premium hikes; and,

An end to tax deductions for people whose medical expenses exceed 10 percent of their income, which would punish millions of people with severe health problems such as cancer and certain chronic illnesses.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative for California, a state bill that would guarantee health coverage to all, SB562, and will be eligible for legislative action again early next year. It builds on an illustrious history in our state, dating back more than a century to legendary California reformer Hiram Johnson.