HEALTH PLANS/POLICY: Kaiser Permanente’s plan to cover all Californians

The plan is interesting in that it seems to basically contradict the AHIP plan that Halvorson was touting last week. That one called for subsidies for low income workers to buy into private health plans. This one calls for a state sponsored first dollar coverage plan in addition, plus an individual mandate plus a pay or play tax, plus two different pools for the non-poor to buy high deductible plans from (again both state sponsored). At least I think it’s what they’re saying. The major problem with this plan is that it’s so damn complicated I couldn’t figure out which special interest group was going to get the angriest, as it gets ignored by the rest of the public. It is worth noting that pay or play was turned down at the ballot box (2004) recently in this state and the version that was turned down had an exemption for small businesses. No such exception would exist under this plan. So maybe some anger (read: opposing political contributions) there…(are you watching WalMart?)

It’s also worth noting that they, like the Mass guys and everyone else look at the Medicaid and SCHIP enrollment levels, say “why don’t all those poor people just enroll in the plans that they’re already entitled to enroll in?” They seem to see that as a source of free (Federal) money. Well if they all did, then that money would actually have to come from somewhere…which is why those programs are under-enrolled to start with.

Still this is a serious effort. They’ve even done sums and everything. And we’re starting to count these policy documents by weight now, which indicates that it’s all getting somewhat serious and is picking up as a political issue.

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4 replies »

  1. I have a friend who is a retired school teacher with Kaiser Insurance.
    He can no longer care for himself at home but refuses to go to the hospital.
    Does Kaiser provide any kind of home care?
    Sorry if this is not the place for this comment. Maybe someone would be kind enough to advise the correct place.
    Thank You

  2. Still nothing in these plans that address cost controls. Funding: “1) a partial extension of the current statewide California sales tax to include health care services;” So now a regressive tax to boot on already expensive heathcare services. Just another, “How can we keep things the same while appearing to offer something different” plan.