Blue Shield of California has publicly supported universal health care coverage since releasing a comprehensive plan for the state in 2002. Titled "Universal Coverage, Universal Responsibility," the proposal recommended requiring individuals, employers, and the public sector to share responsibility for achieving universal coverage.
Blue Shield's proposal is built on four guiding principles:
- Everyone should have access to affordable coverage regardless of age, health status or wealth
- Financial responsibility for coverage must be shared broadly. We cannot and should not try to achieve universal coverage solely on the backs of business or any other lone sector of society.
- Extending coverage to all should not be accomplished by upending the current system; we must build on what works. The easiest and surest way to extend coverage is to bolster the mix of private and public coverage that already exists.
- Finally, as we move forward, we must be honest about costs. There will certainly be efficiency savings under the new system, but insuring everybody - at least in the short term - will require a commitment of resources.
Read a transcript of Bruce Bodaken's Commonwealth Club speech from December 3, 2002 regarding the "Universal Coverage, Universal Responsibility" proposal.