Health Consensus California

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Our Common Problems

  Systemic Inefficiencies and Cost Increases Access to Quality Care Financial and Regulatory Instability
  • Premiums, co-pays and deductibles are increasing.
  • Cost shifting strategies require consumers to subsidize profiteering in the health care system.
  • The insured face anxiety about continuing health coverage.
  • 82% of California's uninsured are working families & must choose between health care and food.
  • Increasing costs without accountability.
  • Reduced job mobility: loss of benefits with employment.
  • No public process for decision-making.
  • Less time and money for hands-on cautious care for patients.
  • Falling staffing ratios and increasing patient loads.
  • Too much money spent on administration, too little on patient care and adequate staff-to-patient ratios.
  • No public process for decision-making.
  • 20-30% annual cost increases.
  • Must increase co-pays and deductibles or terminate benefits.
  • No controls over quality of care for employees.
  • Administrative hassles and high human resources costs.
  • No public controls over premium increases.
  • No public process for decision-making.
Hospitals, Emergency Rooms & Community Clinics
  • Facilities are forced to close.
  • No stability for long range budgeting.
  • Staff cutbacks, fewer on-call specialists and longer ER waits.
  • Overcrowding ERs must take all-comers.
  • Increasing uncertainty for facility budgets.
  • Huge losses from uncompensated care.
  • No public process for decision-making.

California is home to 7 million uninsured residents, 82% of which are working families:

  • The uninsured are guaranteed access to care in our Emergency Rooms and hospitals. Yet, they are often denied access to preventative care that would avert serious illnesses.
  • For every 100 persons who lose their job in California, 85 will be uninsured.
  • A recent study found that if the current health system were switched in favor of a plan offering universal coverage to all Californians, the state would save $17 billion annually.

Current financial shortfalls and cost increases bring deep-seated inequalities in the health care market to the fore:

  • 60 California trauma centers and emergency rooms have closed their doors in the last 10 years; up to 150 hospitals will be forced to close in the next few years.

  • As the economy continues to slow down many employers will be forced to raise co-pays and premiums or cut health care benefits altogether.

  • Individual policyholders face constant premium increases in a market marked by dwindling options, corporate consolidation, and the denial of basic consumer rights.

Systemic inefficiencies and waste in the current market place a direct downward pressure on access to care for many consumer classes:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 of every health care premium dollar is estimated to be spent on profit administration, and advertising.

  • Cost shifting strategies require consumers and other health care purchasers to subsidize inefficiencies of the health care system.