by Paul Alan Piatt
As the California legislature moved closer to passing SB562, The Healthy California Act, Governor Brown took to the airwaves to answer critics who question the total cost of the program and where lawmakers will find the funding.
“It’s simply a matter of passing the bill to see what’s in it,” the governor declared. “The funding source I favor, and the one I’d most like to see included in the final version of SB562 I call the California Voluntary Health Initiative (CVHI).”
Governor Brown went on to explain that under the CVHI, every Californian would initially be declared healthy. As individuals choose to require health care, they will be assessed a financial penalty equal to the estimated cost of required treatment. Much like federal student loans, the penalties accrue interest and cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. In the event of the death of the patient, family members – including extended family out to third-cousins twice removed – become responsible for the penalties.
“This burden-sharing arrangement, with individual citizens paying financial penalties resulting from their health choices under the supervision of the Department of Public Health, ensures free care for all, with minor impact on the overall state budget. Further, this program enhances employment opportunities across the state by establishing an entirely new career field in medical accountancy. M.D.’s and CPA’s will cross-train to develop the combination of medical and accounting skills necessary to accurately diagnose issues and assess penalties.”