Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jerry Brown: 6.6 Million Californians Say No

The San Jose Mercury News reported today, that California republican state senators are urging Attorney General Jerry Brown to join the lawsuit against the federal government over health care reform. The article notes that "Christine Gaparac, a spokeswoman for Brown, said the attorney general had not yet seen the letter sent Monday by state Sen. Tom Harman, a republican from Huntington Beach who says the overhaul violates the principle of federalism."

As discussed in my article "Railroad Reality: No Red Dogs" yesterday, the health care reform passed on Sunday is not perfect...but it is a start. Trying to circumvent it now may set us back another decade in reform progress. A better solution is to engage congress and the electorate in discussions for improving, and building upon, the legislation already passed.

According to the California Health Care Foundation, the state currently has 6.6 million citizens that are uninsured...the highest in the nation. Following is an excerpt from their December, 2009 report on California's Uninsured:

"Over the past 21 years, the percent of uninsured Californians under age 65 has continued to rise as employer-sponsored health insurance has declined. Between 1987 and 2008, employer-sponsored coverage declined 9%. Although Medicaid and individually purchased coverage partially offset this decline, more than 20% of Californians remain uninsured.

The problem, though national, is more prominent in California, which has a lower percentage of individuals with employer-sponsored coverage and a higher proportion of uninsured. And because of California's large population, the number of people without insurance — 6.6 million — is the highest of any state."

Attorney General Brown is a candidate for Governor of California. If you feel as strongly as I do about this issue, urge him to refrain from joining this assault on the victory for California's 6.6 million uninsured. Let him know his decision may impact your vote in the election. You can contact him here. Following is the text of the email I sent to Mr. Brown. Feel free to use part or all of the text:

"Mr. Brown: On behalf of California's 6.6 million uninsured, I urge you not to join the lawsuit against the federal government over the recent health care reform victory. While not perfect, this legislation is a milestone in the long battle to secure health care for all Americans. Over the next few years, we can work hard to improve upon the bill that passed. But to scrap it entirely is a slap in the face to the most vulnerable among us. Please understand, that your decision will weigh heavily upon my vote for Governor."

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