To provide greater access to health care for Californians, Senate Republicans released their comprehensive health care proposal. This plan is a balanced and realistic approach to improve consumer choice and introduces better accessibility, while creating greater reliability in California’s health care system. It proposes to use existing dollars to care for California’s most vulnerable without raising taxes.
“Cal CARE offers California health care consumers more choices and better access for themselves and their families,” said Senator Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin). “The Senate Republican plan is the only health care plan that does not raise taxes or fees while addressing the real problem of accessibility, affordability, and responsibility.”
Under the Senate Republicans’ proposal, demand for overburdened and expensive emergency room services will be reduced by the expansion of clinical care facilities with an emphasis on preventive medicine. Unlike other proposals, the Republican plan does not mandate that all Californians buy health care coverage. Instead, the Senate Republican proposal utilizes tax incentives for individuals and businesses alike that will lessen the financial obstacles often associated with health care expenditures. Additional incentives, including allowing employers to offer flexible work hours should the business provide health care, would expand health care coverage.
“Cal CARE is patient-centered. Our plan focuses on accessibility, affordability and responsibility. Increasing access and improving affordability to health care will benefit every Californian,” said Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley).
The Medi-Cal program, for those who are less fortunate, needs to be a part of any health care reform discussion, and the Senate Republican proposals seek to provide parity between those who purchase their own insurance and those who rely on tax dollars. In addition, the Republican proposal makes Medi-Cal a priority for government spending as the state looks to move Medi-Cal rates in synch with Medicare.
“The Republican plan recognizes that fact that taxpayers cannot afford insurance for everyone, but we can certainly provide access for everyone in need,” said Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley).
Unlike other proposals that include new taxes and fees, the Senate Republican proposal looks to use existing funds to pay for health care proposals. The proposal includes calling on the federal government to pay the mandated health care costs for illegal immigrants. In addition, the Senate Republican plan would ask the Legislature and the voters to reallocate First Five Commission funds to children’s health care initiatives.
Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) said, “This comprehensive plan provides more access to health care for California’s children by making them our top priority. It asks the Legislature and the voters to prioritize health care for children. We are asking the Legislature to place a measure on the next statewide ballot to redirect current tobacco tax to children’s health care initiatives.”
More information regarding the entire proposal is available at the Senate Republican Caucus website at http://republican.sen.ca.gov/calcare  as well as a podcast of the press conference.