DC Council At It Again: Latest to Tackle Implementing Universal Healthcare?

You heard it here first, folks.

Councilmember David Catania, who gained notoriety with his sponsorship of the SafeRx program, is gunning for universal healthcare in the nation's capital.

The program, titled Healthy D.C., would be partially funded by govt. subsidies and aims to reduce the district's uninsured population by 12,000.

The fee schedule would to some extent be based on income, and targets DC residents at 200-300 percent of the federal poverty level. Click here for the HHS 2008 poverty guidelines.

Even more interesting is a preliminary list of what services would be covered:
  • Hospital stays
  • Primary care
And what services would not:
  • Chiropractic care
  • Home health
Catania is aiming for a spring release - "I don't see any reason to drag our feet about it."

He'll need to have the plan evaluated by the health care community and firm up a deal with an insurance firm to provide benefits.

Mayor Fenty submits this year's budget to the Council in March - financial support for Healthy D.C. may be included.

With all the activity this year, is DC outpacing California in planning/implementing progressive healthcare reforms like SafeRx and Healthy D.C.?

With CA's Senate voting down the Governator's statewide proposal, the nation's political epicenter may very well be taking center stage in healthcare coverage. San Francisco's municipal universal coverage plan should be of particular interest to the DC Council as they move forward. Click here and here for 2 articles of note, and here for a relevant, recent blog entry.

Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that while our federal legislators spout nebulous aims for improving the nation's healthcare as a whole, the District, which doesn't have a vote, is moving quickly from talking to doing for the uninsured and underinsured?

No comments: