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Consensus Commentary


Jan 26, 2004

Curb medical costs
The Contra Costa Times

Despite the Times' Dec. 7 editorial against Senate Bill 2, we believe the Legislature made a good start toward health care reform when it passed the bill. It will provide health care for 1 million more working people.

But it did nothing to rein in spiraling costs. Californians' premium increases are up to 70 percent for 2004 and they face more out-of-pocket costs, new co-pays and higher deductibles. The results are devastating.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is compiling stories of individuals whose health-care costs are forcing them and their children to settle for lesser quality care or no care at all.

Our goal is to persuade lawmakers that Sacramento must help contain health care costs.

If you have a story to tell, contact us at www.calhealthconsensus.org. Together, we can persuade those who run the government that we need their help.

SB2 is threatened by a referendum to repeal it, supported by the California Chamber of Commerce, which claims high costs make expansion of health care benefits untenable.

The FTCR has called on the Legislature and governor to keep SB2 and make the system affordable for consumers and business owners by cracking down on profiteering and waste.

Jerry Flanagan
San Francisco
Flanagan is a consumer advocate with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.