California Labor Federation Will Support Legislature's Latest Proposal for Health Care Reform with Amendments to Protect Needs of Working Families
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“The California Labor Federation is appreciative of the Speaker's constructive efforts and recognizes that the Governor has attached his political legacy to health care reform. However, only good health care policy will translate into good health care politics for the Governor. After meeting with our affiliates, we have concluded that we will support AB x1 1 if specific changes are made to ensure that the plan is indeed good policy for working and middle class families. Labor's policy bottom-line is that we must have a plan that protects the economic bottom-line of California's families: real health care reform must make quality health care more affordable.
“There are several specific changes to the Speaker’s plan that working and middle class families will need if we are to have real health care reform. First among these is affordability. If we are going to require that Californians buy health insurance coverage, then we must make available high quality plans that provide good benefits for a low cost. The cost of these plans must include premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Also, employer responsibility under this plan must
be adequate to finance quality health plans for all workers and to ensure the financial viability of the state purchasing pool.
“This legislation must also tackle high drug costs and other health care cost drivers in order to give low and middle-income families the cost control they need. Working families need to know that their health care plans will be able to negotiate the best possible deal for prescription drugs.
“In the coming weeks, we will work with the Legislature on implementing these changes on behalf of working families. We remain hopeful that these conversations will result in an affordable plan that provides all Californians with quality healthcare.”