Laguna Niguel Debates Single-Payer Healthcare Plan For California

by stephanieargyros on August 16, 2017

in Latest News


As the California Senate moves ahead with The Healthy California Act, which would establish a universal single-payer healthcare plan in the state, a panel discussion debated the issue at Laguna Niguel City Hall.

The Healthy California Act, or SB562, would get rid of health-insurance companies and offer government-funded health coverage for all California residents. The program would cost an estimated $400 billion and would make tax hikes necessary.

The panel was hosted by the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Association of Health Underwriters and was moderated by Laguna Niguel Mayor Jerry Slusiewicz. About 70 people attended the event.

The list of panel speakers included Dr. Jeffrey Barke, State Senator Patricia Bates, and Orange County Association of Health Underwriters President Juan Lopez and the former president of the National Association of Health Underwriters, Alan Katz.

Katz, who was the only panelist in favor of single-payer health care, spoke for 10 minutes while the other panelists, all opposed to The Healthy California Act, spoke for 5 minutes each.

Katz started the discussion by presenting the moral, economic and efficiency reasons for supporting a single-payer healthcare system. Bates argued that SB562 does not work financially and would encourage other states residents to relocate to California to take advantage of free healthcare.

Barke, a family physician based in Newport Beach, called the idea of a universal right to healthcare “garbage.” Barke said the only way to ensure access to affordable and high-quality healthcare was through free-market competition.

Parks, who works for a health insurance agency, said the government’s involvement in healthcare was not a good idea and that the insurance industry needed independence.

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Post by Stephanie Argyros

Stephanie has written 252 articles.

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