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SB 562 Would Save Local City Millions

By Maureen Cruise, Health Care for All - L.A. Chapter

Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown has for the second time in his career had the Finance Department analyze what single payer would mean for Santa Monica.

The first analysis, done in 2009, showed a savings of $6 million using Stan Gold's formula for SB 840. Healthcare costs are continually rising. In May of 2017, Councilmember McKeown commissioned the city to calculate results using the SB 562 numbers and found $2.1 million in savings for a city of 93,000 residents that currently spends $39.5 million on employee health benefits annually.

Below is an email about the second analysis, sent out by Kevin McKeown's office on 7.16.17:

Just days after Speaker Rendon pulled SB562, the Santa Monica City Finance Director provided the savings analysis I had requested for single-payer health care.  Assuming the 15% payroll tax proposed in the Senate analysis of SB562, and the 2.3% increase in state sales and business taxes suggested by the economic analysis of the measure by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, commissioned by the California Nurses Association, our Finance Director calculated the savings for our municipal government payroll, where budgeted medical, dental and vision costs for FY 2017‑18, net of the employee healthcare contributions, are approximately $39.5 million.

The City of Santa Monica government alone would save $2.1 million.

That is over $2 million in a city of about 93,000 that could go to social services, public safety, rent subsidies for the housing-threatened, or any other public need, instead of to insurance company overhead and profits.

SB 562 must be put back on the table for similar analyses to be done for governments, non-profits, and businesses across California. There is work to be done.

Kevin McKeown
Councilmember
City of Santa Monica
Vice-Chair, CADEM Irish-American Caucus

Wouldn't it be great to encourage other municipalities to do the SB 562 math?

Published August 5th, 2017

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