SOUTH GATE, CA — While the Senate’s decision to postpone the Affordable Care Act repeal was met with optimism from its supporters.
Filipinos took to a lawmaker’s office to rally support for California’s own version of universal healthcare.
As the US Congress was delaying the vote on the Affordable Care Act repeal, medical professionals and immigrant rights activists celebrated the inaction and took to the streets for another healthcare fight.
California’s statewide universal healthcare bill was shelved by State Assembly speaker Anthony Rendon last week.
“Trumpcare is a disaster, there’s a lot of problems with it. Even if you are a supporter of it for some reason, the fact there’s no transparency in the process; it’s a big problem,” said Ian Camus from the Pilipino Workers Center.
With the fate of the ACA still in limbo, Filipinos believe this is the next best thing, especially for those in the country’s most populated state — and they’re hoping it gets voted on this year.
“This is our answer to the Trumpcare that’s being discussed in Capitol Hill. We all know that’s bad. But if California passes 562, everybody will have healthcare; whether you have papers, no papers, [or] you are poor,” said Lolit Andrada from the Pilipino Workers Center.
SB 562, The Healthy California Act, creates a single payer system and ensures coverage to all California residents regardless of immigration status. The program would be financed by tax increases, which have yet to be identified by the Senate-approved bill.
“It will allow people to have some kind of health benefits. They’re saying something that there’s holding $400 billion, that’s a lie. We’re already paying $370 billion, but the rest of that had to be provided by the 562,” said Debbie Cuaresma, Board Member of the CA Nurses Association.
Despite passing the Senate, the bill’s critics raised issues on its funding with some opponents calling it woefully incomplete.
When Rendon shelved it last Friday, he explained that he didn’t kill off the bill but was rather asking for the Senate to revise it.
A few counter protestors did show up to show their opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the California Healthcare Act.
Even if SB562 passed the legislature, there’s no guarantee that it would be signed into law.
Governor Jerry Brown had also expressed skepticism on how the $400 billion bill would be funded.