San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage

Voices for Reform
Working Together Towards a Healthier Community


October 29, 2010


San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage (SDHCC) is a coalition for health, the trusted community leader and unbiased resource: Convening the community, providing the voice, and serving as the navigator to achieve optimal health coverage and care for all San Diegans.


Healthcare in the News

California’s New High Risk Health Plan Now Enrolling

On Monday, October 25, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the official start of California’s new  Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).  The PCIP is one of the first major provisions of national health care reform to take effect and is designed to bridge the gap between now and 2014, when insurers will no longer be allowed to decline health coverage or charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions.

“Today’s action is a major achievement in implementing health care reform in California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Operating the high-risk insurance plan is a win-win for our state because we can maximize federal funds while providing more affordable coverage to individuals who desperately need health insurance.”

The PCIP will be supported solely through $761 miilion is federal funding and subscriber premiums.  It is expected to provide health care coverage to cover up to 23,000 hard-to-insure Californians at any given time.  In addition to PCIP, California continues to offer high risk insurance through the California Major Medical Risk Insurance Plan (MRMIP), which has different eligibility, coverage and premium costs. Individuals who have NOT been covered by any insurance in the last six months, have proof of denial of coverage, and meet other specified qualifications may be eligible for coverage under the California PCIP. Information, applications and instructions are available at       Read More >

Local Foundation Splits $1.2M Between Nonprofits
San Diego Business Journal
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Alliance Healthcare Foundation has awarded more than $1.2 million to two San Diego nonprofit organizations in its 2010 Innovation Initiative grant competition. Social Interest Solutions and Text4baby won for technological advancements that will improve access to health and social services for San Diego’s medically underserved population, according to an Oct. 20 press announcement.

“AHF is proud to support SIS and Text4baby in our joint fight to dissolve silos in the health care sector,” said Robert B. McCray, chairman of the AHF board of directors.

SIS was awarded $800,000 to expand One-e-App, an electronic software application that searches a large database of all available social services that a low-income client can qualify for. Receiving nearly $242,000 is the San Diego Text4baby Coalition, administered by the San Diego Medical Society Foundation. Text4baby is a national program that provides low-income pregnant women and new moms and dads free text messages with information they need to take care of their babies’ health. Since 1989, AHF has awarded more than $45 million in grants in the San Diego area.

Little-Known AMA Group Has Big Influence On Medicare Payments
By Joe Eaton, Center For Public Integrity, Oct 27, 2010
Kaiser Health News
Early this month, a group of 29 doctors gathered in a modern conference room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, a few blocks from Lake Shore Drive. Over the course of four days, the little-known group of mostly specialists made a series of decisions crucial to the massive government entitlement program known as Medicare — issuing recommendations for precisely how Medicare should value more than 200 different medical procedures.

As the members of the organization waded through technical discussions ranking procedures by how much time, skill, and mental effort they required, more than 100 invitation-only consultants, lawyers, and medical society representatives hunched over their laptops taking notes.

If history is any indication, the Chicago group’s decisions will weigh heavily on how much Medicare pays doctors. But the members of this powerful panel are not employed by the federal government. Instead, the group is comprised almost exclusively of physicians themselves, the very people who have the most to win or lose based on how Medicare values the work they perform.
Read More >

It’s Not Over: Consumer Groups Still Worried About Insurance Rules.
Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2010
Just last week, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners voted on tough new rules for insurers that will govern how much they have to pay out in medical care versus overhead and profits. It was a big win for Democrats and consumer groups, who had worried that last-minute pressure from insurers could weaken this aspect of the health law. . . At issue is something known as a medical-loss ratio …Read More >

US Ranked 49th in Life Expectancy
The United States currently ranks 49th in the world in overall life expectancy, according to a study published in the academic journal Health Affairs, slipping dramatically during the last decade. The noteworthy decline is highlighted by the fact that in 1999, the World Health Organization ranked the US as 24th in the world in the same category, life expectancy.
Read More >

San Diego Health Reform Forum:
Beyond the Bill: Achieving Change with Administrative Advocacy 
November 16, 2010 - San Diego, Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Avenue, 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. Register and Read More >




If employers stop offering health insurance
Des Moines Register
The Register's editorial • October 27, 2010
The new health reform law isn't designed to discourage employers from offering health insurance to workers. It's intended to do the opposite, providing tax incentives for companies
offering coverage and imposing penalties on those that don't. Congress was trying to get more
Americans insured, not fewer.

But some employers may choose to stop coverage anyway. It may simply make financial sense for them if the penalty is a fraction of the cost of providing health insurance, and other considerations aren't a factor. And employers could justify this because Americans will be able to purchase insurance on their own through "exchanges" the new law creates.

However, the idea of that happening is difficult for many Americans to accept. About 150 million of us rely on jobs for health benefits. But let's all take a deep breath and look at the big picture in this country when it comes to health care.
Read More >

Naional Health Reform Website:  Read More >

California Health Reform Website:  Read More >

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