As more and more people are losing their health insurance coverage due to unemployment or unaffordable health insurance premiums, alternatives are needed and wanted. Unfortunately very few exist. However, as this economic trend continues and if the handful of alternative programs that do exist prove successful, real health care reform is possible.
Healthy San Francisco
Healthy San Francisco is an innovative program designed to make health care services accessible and affordable to uninsured San Francisco residents. It is operated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH).
Healthy San Francisco is not insurance, but a reinvention of the San Francisco health care safety net, that will enable and encourage residents to access primary and preventive care. It provides a Medical Home and primary physician to each program participant, allowing a greater focus on preventive care, as well as specialty care, urgent and emergency care, laboratory, inpatient hospitalization, radiology, and pharmaceuticals.
Oregon Health Plan
The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) provides health care coverage to low-income Oregonians through programs administered by the Division of Medical Assistance Programs (DMAP). Currently, more than 380,000 people each month receive health care coverage through the Oregon Health Plan.
- Increase access to health care for low-income Oregonians.
- Improve the quality of health care and receipt of preventive services by low-income Oregonians, thereby improving their health.
- Contain health care costs.
Massachusetts Commonwealth Care
Commonwealth Care offers low-or-no-cost health insurance for people who qualify. It provides comprehensive benefits and a choice of health plans.
Healthy Howard (Howard County, Maryland)
“Healthy Howard is a community-based initiative aimed at improving health for those who live, work, learn and play in our county. It uses accreditation programs to facilitate the advancement of “healthy” policies in important, everyday institutions such as restaurants, schools, and workplaces. The goal is to build a model public health community where residents are surrounded by a range of clean, safe, and healthy activities, products, and environments. As counties across the nation continue to see chronic disease rates rise in both children and adults, comprehensive efforts like Healthy Howard are needed to tackle the obstacles in our social environment that stand in between individuals and healthy choices.”
Californians – Stay informed of SB840, “The California Universal Healthcare Act” (authored by Sheila Kuehl), a state-level single payer bill that has passed in the California State Legislature twice (in 2006 and 2008), but vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger both times. Senator Mark Leno will reintroduce the bill in January 2011.
For More Information on Single Payer Health Insurance movements across the country, click HERE.