Letter: Support AB 1400 for health care savings

I am a retired educator. Many people believed I understood the various health insurance choices our school district offered and would ask me for advice. It always boiled down to picking the more expensive plan or rolling the dice and hoping you didn’t have a big medical bill.

People shouldn’t have the stress of gambling on medical insurance. We need a form of single payer like every other developed country. AB 1400 in the California legislature would give us that.

The main hesitation people have is how to pay for it.

Hundreds of billions of dollars could come from savings generated by single payer financing of health care. In fact, a recent study by the Healthy California for All Commission showed that the present health care system would cost $800 billion a year in 2031, and still not cover everyone. A universal system of guaranteed health care financing through a single, dedicated trust fund would cost $223 billion less in 2031. AB 1400 would relieve the state and local governments of over $90 billion in unfunded retiree health liabilities.

AB 1400 would guarantee health care and save lives: mental health treatment to keep people off the streets; robust public health programs to create healthier, more resilient communities; substance abuse treatment to prevent overdose deaths and reduce desperation leading to property crimes; and fewer people incarcerated leading to less spending on prisons.

Please support AB 1400 in the California legislature.

— Jim Burfeind, Chico

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