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Governor's health plan step in right direction, but universal coverage doomed because politicos too 'in debt' to powerful special interests, say Greens

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

SACRAMENTO (January 9, 2007) - The governor's just released health plan is a step in the right direction toward covering all Californians - but any true universal health care plan is doomed because Democratic and Republican lawmakers are too in debt to the insurance industry, said a spokesperson for the Green Party of California Monday.

"The quality of health care should not depend on how wealthy someone is or is not. The plan announced by the governor has promise because it addresses - although not adequately - the big profits by insurance companies," said Larry Cafiero, the Green Party Insurance Commissioner candidate in November.

While the governor said 85 percent of insurance premiums must go to the patient's care, true universal healthcare could do much, much better. Canada's successful health care program spends only three cents of a dollar, or 3 percent, for administrative costs.

"Because of big money politics, we are all hurt. Insurance companies will call in every favor from everyone they've given campaign money to in the last election to ensure they get their profit - at the expense of Californians' health," said Cafiero.

"Forcing everyone to buy medical insurance doesn't address the root problem: our system of private medical insurance. Americans, including Californians, pay 50 percent more per capita than any other country in the world, yet ours is the only industrialized country that doesn't cover all its citizens," added Dr. Bob Vizzard, a medical doctor and former GPCA state senate candidate from Auburn.

And, according to Wes Rolley, Environmental Coordinator of the GPCA Green Issues Working Group: "Maybe more important that trying to find a way to pay health care costs is looking for a way to eliminate the need for some health care costs itself. That means addressing problems that arise from air pollution, childhood obesity and ongoing pollution of our water and agricultural lands. We need solutions that evolve from understanding how all parts of the system feed one another: medical, environmental, educational and economic. We can no longer address any of these in isolation."

-30-

Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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