Magazine article Drug Topics

Single-Payer System Wins AARP Support in California

Magazine article Drug Topics

Single-Payer System Wins AARP Support in California

Article excerpt

Leaders of the three million-strong California chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons have come out in favor of a plan that could give the state a single-payer health system in 1996. Voters statewide will vote on the Health Security Act, a ballot initiative requiring a Canadian-style health system, in November.

"We like it [HSA] because it contains all the major principles of health-care reform important to AARP," said Maurice Weiner, who moderated a series of membership hearings on the initiative. Key to AARP's backing, Weiner indicated, is full coverage for prescription drugs and long-term nursing home care.

The California initiative would eliminate third-party payers, including health insurers, and replace them with a single government agency. The single payer would pay all provider bills directly with funds collected from payroll, income, and tobacco taxes. Backers say the plan would save at least $10 billion by eliminating duplicated administrative costs and eliminating private company profits from health-care payment plans. The savings, HSA backers claim, would be enough to provide health coverage for six million uninsured California residents. Patients would never see a bill for covered services, including prescription drug therapy.

Fred Mayer, president of Pharmacists Planning Services Inc. in Sausalito, Calif., believes that the single payer system would be good for the elderly. Prescription drugs, he said, now represent the second-largest out-of-pocket expense for seniors after nursing home costs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.