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California State Government June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

About Healthcare and Taxes

By Frank A. Macaluso, Jr.

Candidate for Governor; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
California's government funded health care programs are on the verge of imploding. Due to a steady increase in population and demand for services, uninsured patients are forced upon emergency rooms around the state in numbers beyond their capacity. But, with cooperative action we can devise a solution to this problem focusing on providing primary care to these patients at a fraction of the cost of emergency room treatment. This investment in high quality cost-effective primary and preventive care for these patients would pay long-term dividends for the state. Making sure that all residents of California have adequate and affordable health care should be one of the highest priorities on the budget.

I feel the current budget for health care and social services remains inadequate despite pleas for funding from strapped cities and counties stuck paying the bill of providing care to millions of uninsured and underinsured patients who are overwhelming the system. Dumping the bill for these patients onto the local city and county governments only masks the problem at the state level. We need to reform the health care delivery system in this state by developing a plan to provide insurance coverage to the millions of uninsured patients. In this 21st century, I feel that Californians should have the right to high quality and affordable health care. This is an area where the state should be increasing spending at a much faster rate. Other high priority health care items include supporting nurses in their effort to protect patients by maintaining safe nurse to patient ratios and keeping doctors in California by not letting malpractice insurance rates get out of hand. I'm especially excited about the potential savings of over one billion dollars by eliminating fraud, waste and inefficiency in the Medi-Cal system.

Raising taxes is not the answer to our current budget woes. In fact, that strategy could backfire by stifling growth resulting in lower tax revenues instead of higher. We need to control taxes placed on individuals and corporations and bring back a business friendly atmosphere in California. However, we can't allow corporations to not pay their share of taxes. Remember, nearly two-thirds of the revenues flowing into the General Fund come from personal not corporate income taxes.

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