2016 Platform: Health Care

California Democrats believe that health care is a human right not a privilege. We recognizes the health and well-being of Californians cannot continue to be based on arbitrary private and public financial decisions and therefore advocates legislation to create and implement a publicly funded (single-payer), privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable health care system for all Californians.

To build a healthy future for all, California Democrats will:

  • Support and implement universal comprehensive health care for all Californians that includes medical and dental care, full reproductive health services that respects a woman’s right to choose, preventive services, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment;
  • Support generally accepted holistic healing practices and alternative medicine, particularly those areas licensed by the state such as acupuncture and medical cannabis and utilized to relieve intractable pain without the side effects of conventional controlled drugs;
  • Monitor recent legislation enacted to remedy any uncertainty concerning dispensing of medical cannabis with regard to state law that will provide for rights of a medical cannabis patients and specify means and manner of dispensing to qualified patients;
  • Lead the nation in providing comprehensive quality health care to all our people by enacting SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) coverage for all children in California;
  • Enact legislation to provide for doctor-directed levels of rehabilitation for brain injuries in all private health care plans and public health care programs, including injuries sustained through repeated trauma as in sports that manifest at a much later date;
  • Work to strengthen Medi-Cal and Medicare and oppose efforts to privatize such safety net programs;
  • Simplify language and plan choices for ease of understanding to individuals making health coverage decisions;
  • Support a requirement that all HMOs and health insurers obtain prior approval from the state before rates can be increased and when such time as all Californians are covered by publicly funded health care, support an independent panel free of health care industry conflict to oversee rate increases, cost-effectiveness, and quality of care;
  • Support the state in coordinating with the Federal government in regulating and controlling the cost of prescription drugs;
  • Invest in education, incentives, and other means to prevent disease and promote healthy living;
  • Lead the fight against diseases by supporting and expanding stem cell and other groundbreaking research;
  • Ensure that loss of employment does not cause a loss of health care;
  • Fight to eliminate ostensible denial of coverage because excessive rating based on pre-existing conditions;
  • Expand and strengthen respite care and in-home support services including adequate background checks prior to licensure, and promote an in-home support services system;
  • Recognize the physical and financial burdens of family caregivers and support legislation and programs to provide adequate training, assistive interventions, and financial safety nets such as employer savings and tax credits;
  • Ensure economic and physical access to multilingual health care services;
  • Support addressing health care disparities and promote the goals of the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health;
  • Support the full funding of community clinics and health centers that serve low-income and homeless populations;
  • Protect funding for health care services as mandated by voters from being transferred or redirected for any other purpose [e.g., Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63)];
  • Enforce the Patient's Bill of Rights; and,
  • Affirm that medical decisions must be made with respect for patients' rights to privacy and freedom to have control over their lives with fully informed consent.
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