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Alameda County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter

Health Care

By Mary Hayashi

Candidate for Member of the State Assembly; District 18; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate

Ensuring adequate and affordable health care is one of the biggest concerns voiced by Californians today. The fact is millions of Californians who work hard for a living don't have coverage. According to the California Health Care Foundation, more than 640,000 of the state's uninsured have annual incomes of $70,000 or more and about 1.6 million have incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Some 1.3 million children in California-one out of seven-are uninsured. Equally troubling is that many working people will lose their insurance when they retire. "The growth in health care costs and insurance premiums is outstripping general inflation and family and business incomes," according to Dr. Robert Ross, president of The California Endowment. This growth rate of 59 percent in our state is below the national average, he notes. Many businesses face double-digit annual hikes in premiums. Employment-based health coverage is shrinking in California.

There is no excuse for a state as economically productive as ours being unable to provide all of its residents with health care. There are legitimate differences of opinion about how to do it. But we must begin with the premise that health care is fundamental regardless of income or station in life.

I would focus on strengthening the government's leadership role in bringing together all sectors involved in health care, including labor, researchers, administrators, and technology, in order to identify innovative strategies to increase access to health care.

I have served on the board of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, NARAL ProChoice America and Research!America. I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of Roe v. Wade, and I will always vote to preserve and protect it. I am committed to ensuring access to a full range of reproductive health services for all women. Furthermore, I do not support any of legislative actions to restrict access. They infringe upon the constitutional right to choose, and contrary to the propaganda, do not serve any positive purpose for young women or their families.

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