Report on The Healthy California Act (SB-562)
The State of California is considering a bill to create a statewide single-payer health care system. This study provides an economic analysis of the proposed measure, The Healthy California Act (SB-562). The study includes four major sections:
- Cost Estimate of Universal Health Care Coverage in California;
- Cost Saving Potential under Healthy California;
- Financing Healthy California; and
- Impact on Individual California Families and Businesses.
The primary goal of Healthy California is to provide high-quality health care to all California residents, including those who are presently either uninsured or underinsured. The study finds that the providing full universal coverage would increase overall system costs by about 10 percent, but that the single payer system could produce savings of about 18 percent.
Report on the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria
A delegation of 50 volunteer registered nurses from across the United States returned on October 18, 2017 from Puerto Rico after a two-week disaster relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
While working in Puerto Rico, these RNs witnessed communities and neighborhoods that remained devastated four weeks after hurricane Maria made landfall. They provided care and other support for residents living in severely damaged homes who had not received help from FEMA or any other relief agency. These RNs described an ineffective federal response that has led to deadly conditions including extreme lack of food, water and medicine.
Reports on the State of the Pharmaceutical Industry
Research by the Institute for Health & Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP)
Stock buybacks occur when companies use profit to buy back company stock. There are several reasons for this but the most important is to increase shareholder value simply by making less stock available. Coupling buybacks with the practice of tying executive compensation to the share price of a company’s stock incentivizes those executives to make decisions that increase the share price rather than what is best for the long term health of the company and the public. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/20/16
One common excuse the pharmaceutical industry uses to justify their exorbitant drug prices is that this money is needed to cover high Research & Development (R&D) expenses. The truth is, the industry standard now is to invest more in Marketing & Sales (M&S) than in R&D. As a result, they have created smokescreens around their funding of R&D and, instead, funneled massive amounts of resources into M&S to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs and convince patients that they need the drugs – at whatever cost. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/24/16
Over the past two decades, pharmaceutical corporations have massively invested in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), spending over $1.7 trillion buying competing firms and expanding market share. This industry-wide consolidation has allowed drug companies to push through unaffordable price increases without fear of being undercut by competition. Mergers have also been shown to not only reduce the amount of research and innovation taking place at merging firms, but to drag it down at rival firms as well. By raising prices and reducing innovation, M&A activity in the pharmaceutical industry is causing financial strains for patients and health systems, reducing access to lifesaving medications, and slowing the output of the next generation of prescription drugs. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/17/16
Health Advocates or Hired Guns? Critics of Prop 61 Receive Millions from the Pharmaceutical Industry
The Pharmaceutical industry's reputation is abysmal. The industry desperately needs other, better-liked groups to make its case against Prop 61 for it. Pharmaceutical companies bankrolling the $100 million No on Prop 61 Campaign have granted large sums of money to not-for-profit health groups now opposing Prop 61. By failing to note these financial ties, the media is aiding and abetting a 'dark money' campaign on the part of the Pharmaceutical industry, that is corrupting the electoral process and leaving voters unaware of these not-for-profit health groups' substantial conflicts of interest. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/07/16
The pay incentives offered to pharma executives is adversely affecting patients’ access to affordable medication. Today, it’s not uncommon for senior executives to have 60 to 80 or even close to 100% of their compensation based on performance, but how that performance is measured is unclear. Therefore, higher stock prices often mean more money for executives from increasing drug prices. Since the United States does not regulate prescription drug prices, Americans are forced to pay the price that the pharmaceutical industry chooses to charge, causing a financial strain for many American families. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/07/16
No sector of the economy is a bigger believer in the power of spending money on political influence than the Pharmaceutical industry. The industry spent $3.4 billion on federal lobbying between 1998 and 2016. This vast outlay of resources has allowed the Pharmaceutical industry to create a profitable stranglehold on our nation's capitol, allowing the industry to obstruct meaningful reform while continuing to advance its interests and increase its wealth at our expense. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 10/03/16
To maintain control of the drug markets, and boost the enormous profits for shareholders, the pharmaceutical industry has become dependent on government-protected monopolies to maintain control of drugs and their patents. New patents for existing drugs are acquired through minor modifications of the original drug formula and paying off other manufacturers to delay the release of generic versions, driving up patient costs for lifesaving medications. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 09/30/16
The result of sky high drug prices is enormous sales for the drug companies. From these sales, drug companies are seeing incredible profits. The top 50 most profitable drug companies made over $1.6 trillion dollars in the last 20 years. Their profit margins are among the highest of any sector, surpassed only by the banks and tobacco. These profits, rather than being used for societal good, are instead being funneled through dividends to wealthy shareholders, most being Wall Street investment firms. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 09/27/16
Prescription drug costs are one of the largest drivers of rising healthcare costs in California. Under Proposition 61, the state will finally be able to use its massive buying power to negotiate lower drug prices, saving taxpayers billions of dollars and expanding access to life-saving medications. —National Nurses United / IHSP, 09/16/16