San Francisco Chronicle Features Three Health Care Opinion Pieces
The San Francisco Chronicle on Friday featured an opinion series titled, "Health Care: A Right or a Privilege." The following are summaries of included pieces.
Spyros Andreopoulos: The employer-based health insurance system "was never sound to begin with" and is "outdated," and the "obvious solution and only way out is to expand Medicare to cover everybody," Andreopoulos, director emeritus of the Office of Communication and Public Affairs at Stanford University Medical Center, writes. Policy makers need to eliminate the more than 2,500 different private health plans that "guarantee continued failure and high costs" in health care, Andreopoulos concludes (Andreopoulos, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7).
Scott Holleran: Southern California's grocery strike is a confrontation between "those who favor something for nothing and those who refuse to provide it," according to Holleran, editor of Pulse, the newsletter of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. Companies today are recognizing the limits of employer-based health care coverage and are asking employees to pay, in part, for their own health insurance, but striking workers say that "they are born with a right to" employer-funded health care, Holleran writes. He adds that crossing the picket line at grocery stores is a "strikingly clear choice ... for anyone who believes in personal responsibility" (Holleran, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7).
- Sally Lieber: Recent reports about Wal-Mart and other large corporations "skimp[ing]" on employee health care is disturbing during "the worst budget crisis in California's history," because the public will have to "pic[k] up the tab" as qualified workers receive Medi-Cal benefits, Lieber, a Democratic Assembly member who represents South Bay, writes. Large corporations should be made to reimburse the state for Medi-Cal benefits its employees receive in lieu of employer-sponsored health insurance, according to Lieber (Lieber, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/7).