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June 01, 2008

Stephen Barkalow focuses on health care, education

Many of the problems plaguing California, notably the economy and education, can be ameliorated by focusing on fixing the ailing health care industry, according to Assembly candidate Stephen Barkalow.

When he first became active in the political arena, he wanted to focus on education and health care reform.

“But then I saw that they all bleed together,” he said. “I decided to focus on the issue that affects us the most.”

Barkalow has been a practicing chiropractor for about three decades. In his practice, he sees about 30 patients per day.

For 15 years, he’s been actively lobbying Sacramento for changes to the health care industry, especially in the for-profit health insurance industry.

About 20 million people in California are privately insured or have obtained coverage through their places of employment. Altogether, they are paying out billions in premiums, but private insurance companies keep 50 percent, said Barkalow.

This is having severe negative financial impacts on consumers, and leading to an overall decline in the health care industry, he said.

He says that if California takes a stand against for profit health insurance companies, it will give money back to consumers and pump billions back into the economy. Some states, said Barkalow, require their health insurance companies to pay out 90 percent.

“If we change these things, that money stays in our pockets,” he said. “We would keep $50 billion. Across the board we’d have a healthier California.”

Barkalow says he supports a universal single-payer system, which he says can be quickly created.

He has refused campaign donations and endorsements from special interest groups like the Sierra Club, instead focusing on private individuals.

“I didn’t want to be obligated to anyone,” he said. ‘The special interest to me is the voter.”

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Posted by healthinsurance at June 1, 2008 07:23 PM