Single Payer for California!!
About three years ago I noticed the term “Single Payer” swirling amongst the progressive online sites. I really didn’t understand what the term meant. Surprisingly, in September 2006, the SF Chronicle ran an article on Single Payer insurance.The article, Single Payer Insurance is A Cure for California’s ailing health system was written by Spyros Andreopoulos, director emeritus of the Office of Communication and Public Affairs at Stanford University Medical Center.
This article is so comprehensive, Andreopoulos touches on Senate Bill 840 (bill that would make single payer into a law), the spiraling costs of the current system, the role of government, foreign competitors and the conservative ideology. But what I appreciated most was his simple explanation of what Single Payer Insurance is:
The plan would consolidate all health insurance under a state-administered program — hence the name single-payer. The program would be funded by drawing in public health-care spending and replacing all premiums, co-pays and deductibles now paid to private insurance companies with premiums paid to the state system. Medical care will be privately delivered.
To me, the above makes so much sense. Basically it’s everyone in – no one out.
Another favorite aspect of mine is when Andreopoulos hits upon the political climate of California.
The governor could seize the moment and make California the leader in health-care reform in the nation, and spur the feds and Congress to do the same.
I agree, that would have been monumental for California to lead the way in health care reform. (Remember this article is three years old) However, California did not lead the way of reform because Arnold did not sign Senate Bill 840, he vetoed it twice. Basically throwing 35 million Californians under the health insurance bus; where we have remained.
So what has happened to Senate Bill 840? It is now Senate Bill 810 and is sponsored by Senator Mark Leno. To read more about Senator Mark Leno and SB 810. This site breaks down the legislation and has a very detailed fact sheet.
Another site that I like and have gone to is healthcareforall.org. This site is very informative and proactive. There are petitions to sign, email updates to receive, history of SB810 (this bill has been around California for 10 years) and a skit of the comedic great Lilly Tomlin as Ernestine the Secretary. This is an excellent site please visit it often.
One last bit of information comes from the California Nurses Association, yes nurses and doctors throughout the state are backing single payer. Top 10 Reasons For Enacting a Single Payer System. Concise and to the point.
California is posed for a new Governor which can be a good thing for single payer and SB 810. Will the new Governor finally sign SB 810, curing the state of it’s ailing and failing system? I hope so, I don’t think Californians deserve to be crushed under the health insurance bus any longer.
Thanks for reading.