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Friday, August 19, 2005

Voting no on everything...maybe not...

There is one item coming up on the wasteful, shameful special election ballot that perhaps deserves some positive attention. It's Proposition 79, the CalRX PLUS proposition. Big Pharma has already sounded off about Proposition 79 by fielding Proposition 78, a confusing counterfeit measure, and is now blanketing local airwaves with commercials touting Proposition 78 and condemning Prop 79.

My thoughts are these: if Big Pharma is so scared of Prop 79, we should be supporting it.

Prop 79/78 factsheet from Health Access.

Also, it looks like SB840 is not a dead issue, and is on its way to being passed by the Assembly after having sailed through the Senate. Of course, it will probably be a dead issue once it shows up on Der Gropenfuhrer's desk, but we can dream. SB840 would set up a single-payer health care system for California. Of course this is abhorrent to Ah-nold and his Chamber Of Commerce Repugnican buddies, but the fact is that SB840 is designed with full funding built in, and would actually solve several problems dogging California:

  • The uninsured and its impact on trauma care networks;

  • The continued rise of Workers Comp Insurance costs in spite of punitive Workers Comp reforms which seem to be only causing misery for those who get legitimately injured on the job and doesn't seem to be stopping the fraudsters;

  • The continued pressure on businesses from rising health care costs;

  • The danger to public health and homeland security that an uninsured underclass poses -- suppose Al'Qaeda started an epidemic and a whole swath of the population couldn't get treatment for it?

Here's a fact sheet about SB840, also from Health Access.
Here's the Health Care for All site.
And here's a post I did last month which talks about how Toyota decided to build a car plant in Canada instead of the US in large part because of Canada's National Health plan vs. the cost of providing health insurance privately in the US.

I mean, "Vote NO on everything -- tell Ah-nold NEIN!" is a really nice soundbite and a really cool frame. However, Prop 79 complicates things considerably. It's a good bill. And if it frightens Big Pharma to the extent it seems to, it would look like it's worthy of support. So now I'm torn. Tell people to Vote NO on the special election, or tell people to Vote NO on everything but Prop 79 which you should vote YES on? What should we do here?