Saturday, January 28, 2012

California Failed on Single Payer

UPDATE - The controversial proposal which would pave the way for health care coverage in California has stalled in the state Senate, amid staunch opposition from business groups. Senate Bill 810 seeks to establish a single-payer health care system to be administered by a new state department, the California Healthcare Agency, which would pool premiums and negotiate pay rates with hospitals and providers.
  The California Senate is just 2 votes short to pass its single payer health care bill, SB 810 - the California Universal Healthcare Act, before the end of this legislative session on Tuesday.
Four Democratic Senators have not voted either way on this bill.  Its author, Senator Mark Leno, can bring the bill up for reconsideration, as long as he knows that he has two more votes.
   Most of us have family or friends in California. Many of these Californians may not know how important it is to call and email these 4 Senators over the weekend, and first thing Monday.  We can help.  Alert your California contacts that they must take action right away. They don't need need to live in the districts - these Senators hold the key to all of California's health care.
   The Senators need to hear loud and clear how important it is for Californians to get SB 810 passed.  Call each Senator listed below and ask them to vote yes on SB 810.
   The Senators who must be contacted are:
-  Senator Alex Padilla (District 20 - Pacoima/LA area) can be contacted by email at In Sacramento at 916-651-4020 or in Van Nuys at 818-901-5588
-   Senator Michael Rubio (District 16 - Fresno/Bakersfield area) can be contacted by email at In Sacramento at 916-651-4016 or in Bakersfield at 661-395-2620.
- Senator Juan Vargas (District 40 - San Diego) can be contacted by email at In Sacramento at 916-651-4040 or in Chula Vista at 619-409-7690
- Senator Rod Wright (District 25 - LA area) can be contacted by email at In Sacramento at 916-651-4025 or in Inglewood at 310-412-0393.

Tim Carpenter, National Director; Donna Smith, Co-Chair, Progressive Democrats of America: Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign; Dr. Bill Honigman, PDA Healthcare for All Co-Chair
Kurt Bateman, PDA Healthcare for All Co-Chair; Judy Hess, PDA and Regional Coordinator, Campaign For a Healthy California.

   The bill's author, Democratic Sen. Mark Leno, said the system would stabilize health care costs and ensure all Californians have access to health care coverage.
   "It makes sense to continue to keep this ball moving so we can have the debate, so we can better educate Californians as to what single payer is and single payer is not so that when it reaches the ballot they won't vote against their own health care interests," the San Francisco Democrat said.
    He called the bill, which does not include funding to cover the projected $250 billion annual cost of the single-payer system, the first step in a "many-year project" that will likely require asking voters to approve financing.
   Republicans said the proposal is misguided and would increase costs and bureaucracy at a time when the state can least afford it.
  Single-payer health care is medical care funded from a single insurance pool, run by the state. Single-payer is form of monopsony: a market in which one buyer faces many sellers.       
  Single-payer is not the same as universal health care. Single-payer health insurance collects all medical fees, and then pays for all services, through a "single" government (or government-related) source, such as the current MEDICAID for the indigent, MEDICARE for the elders, and TRICARE for the military. 

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