Ambrozic Stakes Assembly Run On Medical Reform Platform

(April 15)  Steeped as Michelle Ambrozic is professionally in the health care industry, it is not surprising that she considers  health care as a major issue facing both the 33rd Assembly District and the entire state of California in her campaign for the Assembly.
“I am a health insurance broker dealing with health care on a daily basis, so I am seeing a lot of people suffer from the consequences of Obamacare [i.e., the Federal Affordable Care Act],” Ambrozic said. “I want to tackle the issue of access to health care within the district. We have hospitals going bankrupt. Seven out of ten people are unable to pay for health care insurance or are now losing the health care insurance they had before Obamacare was put into place.”
Ambrozic continued, “Specifically I see two areas with regard to the health care issue, accessibility and cost. With regard to accessibility, for many people it is becoming very difficult to see a doctor or a specialist. You can have a several hour-long wait in line. That issue is directly related to the second issue. There is a reason doctors don’t come here and there is a reason doctor’s are leaving. The inability to see a doctor is the second part of that cycle.  Employers are laying people off and those people are losing their health insurance, for themselves and their families. There are not enough people with wealth or private health insurance, particularly in Southern California, where taxes and regulation are so high. Doctors do not want to set up businesses in California’s rural areas. Medicare and Medi-Cal do not offer enough in the way of payments to make up the difference.”
Ambrozic said she had a formula that would go a long way toward fixing the problem.
“I consider the 33rd District to be a rural area,” she said. “I believe what we need to do is create in California’s rural areas something similar to California’s enterprise zones, areas that will entice doctors to operate here. We need to alleviate the tax and regulatory burdens imposed on doctors and health care providers in the form of tax relief in every rural portion of the state,” she said. “One example is the exacting seismic construction regulations put in place on medical centers and doctor’s offices and hospitals. In rural areas this is a particularly heavy burden. One cannot afford such construction requirements with this economy and this has discouraged doctors from coming into those areas and hospitals from being constructed. I would propose a moratorium on this level of regulation to give hospitals the time and opportunity to operate in these areas. The other major problem involving an intolerable burden placed upon the medical community by government is that under our government-run medical programs doctors and hospitals have to wait up to 18 months to get reimbursed for the care and services they have delivered. This is on top of the regulatory burden and the cuts in rates insurance companies are paying for those services, the escalating rates doctors must pay for their liability insurance. Doctors are increasingly reluctant to accept new Medicare patients at the same time that thousands and thousands of low income Medicare patients are coming along. They are not willing to accept new Medicare and Medi-Cal patents because they are not being paid adequately. It is not financially feasible for them to accept these new patients. We need to get money to expand Medicare and Medi-Cal. We need to make sure our state medical reimbursement rates are what they should be. We need to set up a program so that if after graduating from medical school and being licensed, primary care physicians can commit to a rural area for up to six years and have their medical school debt forgiven. If they stay that long they will build a relationship with their patents. This will give them longevity. This is already being done in several other states. Some states implement this through state funding for education. We could do that in California. My preference would be that we have that money appropriated from the California Dream Act, which is utilizing taxpayer money to further the education of illegal aliens and people who are not citizens of our state. I would rather see that funding go toward the education of Californians and California doctors.  I think that money should be redirected to covering the medical school debt of doctors willing to operate in what are considered by those working in the medical profession to be the least desirable areas of our state.  The biggest issue with this district and the entire area of San Bernardino County is that we have one of highest primary care deficits in the nation. We need to invite doctors to come here and get established in the rural parts of this district. What I would propose legislatively is that the program apply to rural areas of the state. There are other rural areas of the state facing the same issue. Their representatives in Sacramento and on their respective county boards would be very supportive of a program such as this. With Medi-Cal cuts, doctors are no longer taking Medi-Cal patients. What happens when you can’t find a doctor? You go to the hospital emergency room. So now hospitals have severe overcrowding issues. I heard recently that one patent who had gone to St. Mary’s Hospital in Apple Valley for a legitimate emergency had a wait time of 20 hours. Hospitals like St. Mary’s are providing more treatment but most of those treated do not pay their bills. We have fewer and fewer doctors participating. We need a program to bring them here and keep them here. They can’t stay in business with California’s regulatory and tax structure. To keep them from leaving we need to relieve them of taxes. That doesn’t mean the state will lose something because that is already income we are not going to have. We need to relieve the overhead costs for them and give them the opportunity to stay in business.”
Abrozic said she believes she merits the votes of those living in the 33rd District. “Looking at my opponents, I would call myself the most conservative person in this race,” she said. “I have the most experience in helping people. I work with business owners every day and I see why it is so hard to keep their employees employed and provided with health insurance. In addition to my health insurance brokerage, I work with my husband in running a construction company. I know a lot of business owners are facing the same difficulties we are. That is what sets me aside from the other candidates. I know one of the others owns a construction company. Another has a video game business. I commend them for owning and running a business but I do not believe their experience gives them a higher level of experience to work legislatively. I help people every day who are in business and trying to function under this burden of taxation and overregulation. Since we are so outnumbered in Sacramento, even if I am not successful in getting the Democrats to latch onto what I am proposing legislatively, I can be effective at the level of the district office by assisting residents with resources to get information and get someone to help them with access to health care and other services. I believe I will be more resourceful than the other candidates. I am a conservative who believes in having women in government, lowering taxes and getting things started at the local lever rather than the federal or even state level. If the people of the district vote for me they will have someone who puts the needs of this district first. I will  help them have their voices heard. I will stand for them and fight for them in Sacramento.”
Born in Miami, Florida, Ambrozic has lived in California since she was a toddler. She graduated from Beverly Hills High School and graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in communications. She is married with three children.

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