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CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS BASH BUSH 'BAND-AID' APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS BASH BUSH 'BAND-AID' APPROACH TO HEALTH CARE
 SAN DIEGO, Calif., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Califonria Democratic Party leaders and physicians today denounced President Bush's new health care proposal as a political "band-aid" created only to placate voters, after he ignored the problem during his three years in office.
 At a press conference at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel, where Bush addressed the Rotary Club, Susan P. Kennedy, executive director of the California Democratic Party, was joined by Dr. Sol Lizerbram, medical director for Prudential Insurance and a former state health advisor; and Dr. Abe Krems, a retired general practitioner and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) activist, in responding to the proposal.
 "This is nothing but a band-aid approach to a major problem," said Kennedy. "Under Reagan/Bush leadership, health care costs for American families soared from $2,627 in 1980 to $6,535 in 1991, and without comprehensive changes, costs will double again to $13,911 by 1999. Bush has been actively involved in blocking many Democratic initiatives designed to expand access to health care and reform the system."
 The following statistics demonstrate that the crisis facing American health care has reached epic proportions:
 -- One in three Americans have had their health benefits cut in the last two years (ABC News, 12/91).
 -- Seven in 10 Americans worry that they won't be able to afford major health costs in the future (ABC News, 12/91).
 -- Between 32 and 37 million Americans are uninsured, and an estimated 60 million are underinsured (Democratic Policy Committee, 10/29/91).
 -- The U.S. ranks 10th out of 10 industrialized nations in providing health care to its citizens (Baltimore Sun, 10/23/91).
 "We can control this health care hemorrhage," said Dr. Lizerbram. "Our current health care system allows for hundreds of thousands of health care providers, with no budget. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, total health care spending may have exceeded $700 billion in 1991. Managed health care could help us save up to 20 percent, which translates to a $14 billion surplus, which would go a long way in providing care for the uninsured or underinsured.
 "The answer is not to divert money from MediCare and MediCaid," continued Dr. Lizerbram. "In fact, that would necessitate cost shifting in hospital bills from MediCare and MediCaid to private insurance, resulting in higher premiums. Using a primary care gatekeeper system, with contracted providers and proven cost-saving measures such as a mail order pharmacy for chronic disease medications, we can save this terminally ill system."
 Dr. Krems, AARP Coordinator for Health Care Reform, San Diego, noted, "The President's plan calls for welfare for the health insurance industry without solving our urgent health care problems. By reducing their 25 percent administrative charges to 3 percent, as for Medicare, we can finance comprehensive, high quality care for all. A representative commission could supervise costs and planning, eliminate greed, abuses and misrepresentations, and minimize inequities."
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Susan Baltake of California Democratic Party, 916-442-5707/ CO: California Democratic Party ST: California IN: SU:


RM -- SF006 -- 7856 02/07/92 14:55 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 7, 1992
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