Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Ash Kalra to Join Expert Panel

The campaign for the Healthy California Act and California Alliance for Retired Persons/CARA, is inviting area residents to a community briefing on Thursday, July 27, in San Jose, to learn about how the Healthy California Act, SB 562, would impact Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal) recipients, including seniors and people with disabilities.

Senator Jim Beall and Assemblymember Ash Kalra will participate in the briefing which features presentations by Jodi Reid, Executive Director of CARA/California Alliance of Retired Americans, Janie Whiteford, California In Home Supportive Services Consumer Alliance, Henry Abrons, MD, MPH, Physicians for a National Health Program and Greg Miller, RN, California Nurses Association Retirees.

What: Community Briefing on SB 562, the Healthy California Act
When: Thursday, July 27, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: South Bay Labor Center, Carpenter’s Hall A, 2102 Almaden Rd., San Jose

“Washington DC forces are attempting to undermine Medicare and Medicaid not just by repealing the ACA, but through budget cuts and privatization,” said Jodi Reid, Executive Director, California Alliance for Retired Americans. “We’re holding  this forum to make sure that Medicare recipients, including seniors and people with disabilities, understand why it is so important at this juncture to move forward with SB 562 in California as a pro-active measure to protect and improve their health care.”

“As a senior I know that many seniors live on the edge as it is and GOP efforts to cut health care even more alarms many seniors. ” said Greg Miller, a retired RN and member of the California Nurses Association Retirees.  “I look forward to sharing with seniors how SB 562 will enhance their care by improving and expanding the Medicare benefits they currently receive.”

“As a doctor I support the Healthy California Act because it will allow doctors to refocus on what’s important, which is the best interest of our patients,” said retired pulmonary and critical care physician Henry L. Abrons, who will represent PNHP/Physicians for a National Health Program at the briefing. “One of the key benefits of single payer is that it liberates healthcare providers from the stranglehold of corporate insurance bureaucrats. This supports much better relationships between patients and doctors.”

The Healthy California Act, SB 562 passed the full Senate last month and was set for consideration in the Assembly in late June when Speaker Anthony Rendon abruptly refused to let it out of the Rules Committee. Since then supporters have continued organizing grassroots support for the bill, holding lively protests at the state capitol building in Sacramento and conducting door-to-door canvassing and district office visits in various Assembly districts.

The California Nurses Association, primary sponsors of SB 562, commissioned a recent study by expert economists at University of Massachusetts Amherst on how to pay for SB 562—revealing that enacting the bill would save Californians $37 billion off the state’s current cost for healthcare.

A survey released in May by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 75 percent of California Democrats and 64 percent of independent voters support single-payer. The survey aso found that 56 percent of likely voters favor such a plan. Despite this, Speaker Rendon and Assembly Democrats, with their two-thirds, 55-25 super majority, have put forth no proposals to implement the California Democratic Party’s single-payer plank or to protect the nearly six million Californians whose healthcare is threatened by executive orders and GOP proposals. This includes 4.4 million who gained coverage under Medi-Cal expansion and 1.4 million receiving coverage though the Covered California exchange.