AB 2200 Pre-Hearing Rally Speech by Cheng-Sim Lim:

Hello, CalCare-istas!

My name is Cheng-Sim Lim. I’m here on behalf of Health Care for US and Asians and Pacific Islanders for CalCare. We are grassroots volunteers organizing for single-payer health care in California.

We are young and old, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrant and US-born. We are insured, un-insured, and on Medi-Cal and Medicare. We are diverse but we share one thing in common.

We are patients out of patience with a health insurance scheme – notice I didn’t say a health care system – a health insurance scheme that turns our bodies into profit centers. Tens of billions of dollars of profit per year! Sucked out by Big Insurance denying us the care we need. Condemning us to medical debt, pain and suffering, and yes, deaths. More than four thousand otherwise preventable deaths per year in California.

We are patients out of patience with politicians who run the protection racket for this Big Insurance scheme. These politicians have made all manner of excuses over the years. They have said how do we pay for it? Conveniently overlooking study after study in America and decades of real- life evidence from other countries that single-payer is fiscally prudent.

Lately some of these politicians have taken to claiming they support single- payer, b-b-but let’s do a bill called SB 770 to conduct more studies on how to talk to the federal government about waivers. Conveniently ignoring that federal law already says that a state must enact heath care legislation first, before applying for consolidated waivers.

Or b-b-but let’s do capitation, value-based payment, cost-sharing for certain services – otherwise known again as SB 770 or incrementalist fudging around the edges to keep the private, for-profit, insurance scheme going.

We are patients out of patience with all of these insurance-racket excuses. No more. No more political charades. We see through all of them. And as someone who works in the arts, I have to say it is also bad performance art.
We want the real deal. True single-payer CalCare! We want AB 2200 because it means comprehensive, high-quality healthcare for every resident of California for our lifetimes.

We need the health equity that AB 2200 will bring. The Asian American model minority myth, for example, has obscured the fact that the majority of the 5.6 million APIs in California are working-class and immigrant, consisting of 42 distinct nationalities.
  • Tongan, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and Cambodian Americans all are insured at double-digit lower rates than the White population in California.
  • Samoans and Tongans have higher rates of hypertension than Californians at large.
  • Sixty percent of our elders have limited English proficiency.
  • And due to linguistic and cultural barriers, APIs are the least likely to seek mental health care of any ethnic group in the country.

Asian and Pacific Islander communities absolutely need the infrastructure that AB 2200 will build for linguistically, culturally, and structurally competent care.

Another thing that we, everyday working people, want to shout out loud about AB 2200…

AB 2200 will be good for entrepreneurs in California! Small businesses could take the cost of employee health insurance off their budgets. Imagine breaking free and starting your own business because you don’t have to be chained any more to a job you don’t like just for the health insurance.

Last but not least, we want AB 2200 because we LOVE California! AB 2200 will be golden for our Golden State’s finances. The Governor’s Healthy California for All Commission found that a CalCare single-payer system will save the state anywhere from 3 billion plus to 21 billion plus dollars a year.

AB 2200 is a fiscally prudent bill. It is fantastically frugal compared to the 517 billion dollars per annum California currently pays for a fragmented insurance scheme that leaves out more than 3 million Californians, and is growing unsustainably by more than 17 billion dollars a year.

So legislators, there are no more excuses. Pass CalCare AB 2200 NOW!

APIforCalCare-vertical logo
HC4US logo