Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 1:09 am | Fair 56º


Strickland Introduces Health Care Protection Legislation

Senate Constitutional Amendment 29 would empower voters to limit government control over health-care legislation

State Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, joined by Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and John Graham, director of Healthcare Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, held a news conference Thursday to announce the introduction of Senate Constitutional Amendment 29.

The constitutional amendment would give California voters the opportunity to have a say in the enforcement of restrictive state or federal health-care legislation by placing a measure on the ballot.

SCA 29 would require voter approval of any state or federal measure implementing a health-care program that contains a provision mandating individuals to obtain health coverage, guarantees issuance of health coverage, creates a “pay or play” system for employers, creates a government entity to compete with private plans, or creates a single-payer healthcare system. Any health-care program containing at least one of these provisions, created after Jan. 1, 2010, would be subject to the voter approval requirement.

“This measure will ensure voters have a voice in the health-care debate rather than allowing out-of-touch politicians to make costly and ineffective decisions regarding something as personal as the choice of a family doctor,” Strickland said. “Polls have consistently shown voters want a health-care system that addresses their concerns over cost, access and quality. This does not mean they are asking for another government bureaucracy.”

Coupal said, “It is clear the single-payer health-care program advanced by the Obama administration will add to California’s already massive $20 billion budget deficit without increasing the level of care provided by private health insurers. Individual mandates and guarantee issue coverage will only increase the cost of providing care and place a greater burden on small business to provide coverage. Especially with the private sector suffering and 2.3 million Californians out of work, the ability for a state to opt out of programs like ObamaCare seems both wise and warranted.”

“At a time when California is facing a $20 billion deficit, its citizens should have the ability to stop legislators, who aren’t listening to them, and prevent the creation of a $200 billion health-care program that has no funding source and will harm job growth,” Strickland said. “We need to focus on restoring the economy and creating jobs rather than spending money we don’t have on programs that won’t work.”

SCA 29 is awaiting referral by the Senate Rules Committee.

— Matt Guthrie is a communications director for Sen. Tony Strickland, who represents California Senate District 19.


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