Goals & Issue Summaries
Promote a sound and affordable health care system. Work to contain costs and avoid unnecessary and expensive regulatory controls, including mandates.
Affordable Care Act
Position: Maintaining a viable health insurance market that provides individuals with an opportunity to obtain health insurance is important. The California Legislature should continue to consider all options to stabilize the market so that small employers and individuals still have those options. The California Chamber of Commerce will continue to promote efforts to contain health care costs and improve access to high-quality health care by supporting a health care system that is affordable and improves the overall health of California citizens.
Affordable Care Act
Single-Payer Health Care
Position: Ensuring all Californians have access to quality, affordable health care is an admirable goal, but a single-payer model will not move California any closer to that goal. A single-payer health care system strips individuals of the freedom to pursue their health care as a matter of choice. It denies them the option to pay for health care outside of public sources. It interferes with their freedom to choose their health care provider and denies them the ability to access care without having to suffer lengthy waits for their care. The high taxes required to fund a system that has no cost-containment measures and will likely result in future increased taxes, will likely crowd out other state social services.
Rather than upending the health care system with which Californians have repeatedly expressed their satisfaction (except for costs), any reform to the system should focus on those who cannot access affordable health care.
Single-Payer Health Care
Universal Health Care
Conclusion: A closer look at health care systems around the world that are touted to be universal health care systems reveals that they do not cover undocumented immigrants and often are multi-payer rather than single-payer health care systems. Additionally, such countries that say they have achieved universal health care for all citizens and legal residents exempt many types of coverage and services that Californians believe to be essential health care and for which they expect health plan coverage, such as preventive care, prescription medication, ambulance transport, and physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as others.
In an era of too much information and a lot of misinformation, before idealizing and replicating health care systems, we need to ensure that a health care system we are considering replicating in California is truly what we believe it to be and ultimately what we want.
Universal Health Care
Blocked increases in health care costs in 2018 by:
- Winning amendments to and veto of proposal mandating medication-assistant treatment for opioid use disorders (AB 2384).
- Supported voter rejection of initiative that set dangerous precedent of applying arbitrary government price controls on a health care service; could have increased costs by shifting treatment from dialysis clinics to more expensive venues, and led to clinic closures, thereby reducing patient access to critical care (Proposition 8).
Kept lid on health care costs in 2017 by:
- Stopping well-meaning but flawed mandates increasing health care costs (SB 349, SB 172, SB 399, AB 1601, AB 1110, SB 221,
- Advocating amendments to narrow the overly broad scope of required screening for blood lead levels in children to subjects whom a physician determines are at risk for lead poisoning (AB 1316).
- Winning removal of language that would have limited access to care from in-home respite care provider agencies (AB 1380).
Stopped plan in 2017 for single-payer, multibillion-dollar health care system with unspecified funding plan (SB 562).
Stopped health care mandates in 2016 that threatened the long-term affordability of health care premiums (AB 2209, AB 3400, SB 1034, AB 1763, AB 2004, AB 2764).
Supported enactment in 2016 of special session measure to preserve a crucial state-federal funding mechanism for the Medi-Cal program (SBX2 2).
Opposed initiative defeated by voters in 2016 that would have increased health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs by shifting the cost of prescription drugs from government purchasers to private payers (Proposition 61).
Supported well-crafted health care funding proposal signed into law that preserves critical funding for the state’s Medi-Cal program, which is critical for the health care delivery system, without undermining the affordability of commercial health care purchased by employers, families, and individuals. (SBX2 2 of 2016)
Stopped 2015 Job Killer that would have increased health care costs by granting ability for state regulators to unilaterally alter large-group rate changes (SB 546.)
Controlling Health Care Costs in 2015:
- Stopped coverage mandates that would have increased employer premiums (SB 190, SB 289).
- Supported legislation signed mid-year to extend funding for program to provide the Legislature with valuable independent analyses of medical, financial and public health impacts of proposed health insurance mandates (SB 125).
- Blocked new targeted taxes on employer health insurance (SBX2 14, ABX2 19, ABX2 4)
Stopped state proposals in recent years that would have increased health care premiums by establishing numerous health care coverage mandates.
Promoted voter rejection of ballot measures in 2014 that would have led to increased health care costs: Proposition 45 and its fundamentally flawed approach of giving the state Insurance Commissioner authority to approve health insurance rates (thereby potentially delaying health care decisions); and Proposition 46, which would have removed the longstanding cap on pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Blocked legislative proposals in 2014 that would have increased health care costs, including new health care mandates (AB 1771, SB 1053) and bills that would have undermined managed care plan savings (AB 2533) or nonprescription-based health care products and services (AB 1917).
Supported urgency measure in 2014 helping small employers control health care costs by allowing them to extend pre-Affordable Care Act policies through the end of December 2015 (SB 1446).
Advocated signing of legislation in 2014 eliminating confusion on waiting period limitations for health care coverage (SB 1034).
The interplay of costs, subsidies and pre-existing conditions in the health care debate is explained by CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg at the CalChamber Capitol Summit on May 31, 2017.
CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg discusses the political pressures affecting lawmakers’ attitudes toward government-run health care at the CalChamber Capitol Summit on May 31, 2017.
Health Care Bills
Health Care, Taxation