Re: “Rustic Canyon, Melisse add employee benefit surcharge”
The Santa Monica restaurants adding a 3 percent surcharge for healthcare coverage of their employees are buying into a flawed program that has no limit to cost. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already failed to deliver its promise due to high co-pays, deductibles and premiums, limited panels of physicians and medications and lack of transparency.
A door opens in 2017 when the ACA allows each state to change the provisions of the law to better serve its citizens’ needs. We will all have a chance to advocate then for Medicare for all, a single-payer system with transparency that eliminates the waste of the health insurers and the hospitals and its bloated administration, and guarantee affordable healthcare to everyone.
A single-payer plan was on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk twice during his terms in office and he vetoed them both (2006, 2008); the second time was not even reported in the Los Angeles Times. That plan would have offered healthcare to all legal residents without co-pays, deductibles and charge for medication; in addition, there would have been a surplus of up to $20 billion after the first year (Lewin Group report). We still have time to succeed, but we must all be informed and ready to support the change.
Jerome P. Helman, M.D.

To The Editor:
As a longtime activist for social and economic justice in the community, I take issue with Kevin McKeown’s recent attack on Frank Gruber. I have known Frank Gruber for almost 25 years. To imply that Frank is not progressive and that he would “sell out our City for jobs” is not only insulting to him and the hard-working members of UNITE-HERE, it is a complete lie.
Unlike other non-incumbent candidates, Frank has been at the forefront of the progressive movement in Santa Monica for decades. McKeown conveniently ignores the fact that it was Frank who called for a ban on massive overdevelopment way before others were talking about it in the 90s, and that Frank was an early opponent of the Hines and recent Bergamot projects. Given Frank’s proven record on controlling development, as well as renters rights, affordable housing, living wages and other social and economic justice issues, I can say as fact, that just like McKeown, Frank will be “progressive and unwavering” in what he requires of developers. Just like McKeown, Frank will “never let union jobs cause” him to “vote for a bad project.” But unlike McKeown, Frank will work with all sides to build consensus. And unlike McKeown, Frank will be a collaborative voice on the Council.
Abby Arnold
Santa Monica

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