SB 810 Killed on the California Senate Floor

January 31st, 2012 by Sylvia Moore Leave a reply »

Today SB 810, “Medicare for All” single payer legislation, was killed on the California Senate Floor.

The vote was: 19 YES, 15 NO (including Dem. Calderon and Dem. Correa) and 6 ABSTAIN (which is actually a NO vote and included Dems. Padilla, Vargas, Wright and Rubio).

We have two immediate tasks: first, thank our author of SB 810, Sen. Leno, for his efforts (the legislation was not supposed to pass the Appropriations Committee!) and thank Sen. Steinberg for his assistance in getting the bill to the Senate Floor; and, second, call the 6 Senators who voted against SB 810 and give them a piece of your mind.

Lastly, California OneCare will be recommending “next steps” for the campaign in the very near future.  We are meeting with our coalition partners on Friday and will communicate to you a united strategy in the following days.

Thank you for all your help.  Without your help, the legislation would have never gone as far as the Senate Floor.  Again, wait for our suggestions for future advocacy plans.  I think you’ll be surprised because we are getting real tired of the Democrats In Name Only stopping life saving legislation:  it’s now time to take it to a new level.  Stay tuned!

Andrew McGuire
Executive Director



  1. Rick Sandberg says:

    I will support the bill if you can point to one example of where single payer works. By “works” I mean the following:
    – does not lead to higher costs.
    – does not lead to less care.
    – does not lead to long waits (months) for care
    – does not lead to certain treatments not available to all who are in the program
    – does not lead to less efficiency in administering the program.
    – does not lead to less efficiency in administering the medical care.
    – does not redistribute the fruits of labor from one group (those who earned it) to others (those who didn’t earn it) without their consent (involuntarily).

  2. Shaun McDowell says:

    What a shame California’s elected officials like US elected officials car more about the health insurance companies than the do there citizens. People forced to take whatever their employer offers instead of being able to choose for themselves the Doctor they want to see. I have great insurance at a very low price but many will die because they don’t. If am willing to pay a little more so that everyone can see the Doctor of our choice, why aren’t you all willingl to pay less?

  3. CL Walker says:

    I am 100% disabled.

    Hell is too good for each of these pathetic democrats (little D).

    Expose them for the “Ben Nelsons” they are, who lined their pockets and how much did it take to “own” them.

    The CA Democratic party should expell them and not a dimes worth of support for any reason. Shun them in person and expose them at any gathering they have the gall to show up at.

    Does the Democratic Party have the guts to play hardball with these eight turncoats.

  4. CeeCee says:

    TO: Mr. Sandberg (January 31, 2012, 4:47 pm)

    As it is obvious that you can “copy” old stale talking points, I will take a leap of faith that you have the ability to read and can comprehend more than the Reich’s propaganda:

    Study: The Health Care For All Californians Act:
    Cost and Economic Impacts Analysis
    Analysis Based Upon SB 921 as of April 30, 2004
    Now known as SB 810

    Earning profits at the expense of a human being’s health or life is exploitation, evil and unAmerican.

    Single payer, or a similar system, works in at least 25-35 countries listed above the USA as having a better healthcare for its citizens.
    The point being–by your own criteria, Mr. Sandberg, the U.S. Health Care System fails miserably.

    Oh, and I suspect that the only thing you have ever earned is a seat in Hell. May you live long enough to remedy that.

  5. Marian Cruz says:

    I am shocked that these Democrats voted against this.

    Just this week a 60 year old woman friend, worked all her life providing child care, had chest pains. She went to the emergency at a hospital near by and was kept overnight for observation. She can’t afford health care insurance and believes she was released because of that.

    They released her and said she needed to see a cardiologist. No explanation as to her pain, sent her home with pain pills. She like millions of other hard working residents of California need Single Payer.

    The report I heard was that these Senators received large sums of money from insurance companies and who know where else.

    This is scandalous and demonstrates they have no clue as to the suffering of many California residents.

  6. It’s time to take SB 810 + a funding mechanism and put it before the voters as an insurgent ballot initiative. I have been saying that for a year, but this only vindicates my view of this. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! The electorate is sick and tired of a sick and tired non-system of health non-care. They don’t trust PPACA. For good reason: it’s a dog’s breakfast and it was designed for failure.

    This is no longer 1994. Nobody thinks that their insurance company is their friend. We need to support the Consumer Watchdog ballot initiative because it will at least help California survive PPACA until we can get Single Payer before the voters. AHIP and PhRMA and Kaiser and Anthem/Wellpoint killed SB 810 dead. We need to take Single Payer out of their reach and give it to the People.

  7. pdquick says:

    Rick Sandberg: Canada on every count.

    Canada’s system has lower costs, better outcomes, and shorter wait times overall (Canada’s system isn’t perfect either, but shortages and wait times are actually greater in the U.S. In fact, many people in the U.S. don’t find out how restrictive and cumbersome their insurance policies are until they actually get sick. Besides that, around 40 million have no insurance at all, and many who do, can’t afford the copays). Administrative costs are about 20% lower overall in Canada; savings come from more efficient administration of the program, and from far lower costs to doctors and hospitals (U.S. doctors and hospitals have costs for prior authorizations, billing, and maintaining insurance contracts that are unheard of in Canada). As for redistributing wealth, that’s what ALL insurance does. If you get sick, health insurance (whether single payer or not) pays for your medical care, just as if your house burns down, your fire insurance pays to rebuild your house. That’s a redistribution of wealth, and it’s the whole point of insurance–ANY insurance. But private health insurance also transfers large sums of money into the pockets of insurance company executives and shareholders, who use it buy off your elected officials, just as they did today.

  8. Elena says:

    “dems in name only”? really?!! wow.. sounds EXACTLY like dems.. more of the same crap.. pretending to be different when they’re just another right wing.. please wake up.. dems and repubs? 6 of one half dozen of the other.. this is exactly a reflection of the national snow job “dems” like to play.. they have one or two decent members who occasionally do one or two decent things but it’s all right wing crap when you see the real result..
    wake UP!!!

  9. Marian Cruz says:

    This was horrible. A dear friend, worked all her adult life and was suffering chest pains. She was kept overnight and told she had a blockage and released with pain medication.

    Single Payer would have been allowed her to see a physician and treat her illness. We need Single Payer!

  10. Salvatore DiChristina says:

    RICK SANDBERG My first encounter with socialized medicine. On June 6, 1953, the day Princess Elizabeth was coronated Queen of England, I and another serviceman were jumped by 11 Teddy Boys (Juvenile Delinquents). They did a number on us and the two female friends we were with ran down the street and returned with a Bobby (an English policeman). He called for a vehicle to take us to a hospital as we both required stitches. The only thought, besides our wellbeing was, Would I have enough money to pay the doctor and hospital bill. We were well tended to and kept there several hours to make sure we were not concussed. When they released us we asked “where do we go to pay for your services”? “You don’t pay here. You can just leave”, When I returned to the states and was discharged I was in an accident that required 6 stitches above my right eye. Quite similar to what happened in England. It cost me $133.00 for the hospital and $30.00 for the doctor. And they did not keep me there for a few hours to see if I was concussed.I had no insurance and was going to college on the enormous sum of $110.00 a month. Needless to say it took me several months before I could call that $110. 00 a month GI check mine. Now you tell me which is cheaper and where did I get better care?

  11. Elena says:

    of course you got better care under ‘single payer’.. thank god the dems “took it OFF the table” nationally before that right wing took the white house. after all it’s more affordable far less overhead and the people in countries with it all live longer than those in usa.. dems are showing you they are just another right wing. gonna keep one of the 2 right wings in power? all will continue to pay for it if you do.. just say “NO” to republicans AND democrats they all get “socialized” medicine while keeping it from us.

  12. Salvatore DiChristina says:

    I had a very conservative friend who sent me an email about a storm in Colorado, praising the , what he called the people who solve their own problems without government assistance and especially noted that people above 40 degree latitude were truly bootstrappers.
    I pointed out state and local police and highway workers were government workers. I further went on to point out that just about every nation o0n the globe above the 40 degree line of latitude was socialistic or had some form of socialism involved in their society. That most of those nations ranked well above us in health care. I pointed out that the WHO at that time ranked us 37th. Needless to say I lost a friend that never really was. I became convinced of that many years ago when this sanctimonious gem and his wife invited my wife and I (lest I forget my wife was Maid of Honor at their wedding), He and his wife after a short chatting session offered to sell us copper bracelets that would protect our health for 15.00 each. We refused. Had we decided to buy those health bracelets, it would have been the highest price I ever paid for a cup of coffee. Put simply all they cared about is money. If they truly believed those bracelets were beneficial healthwise medical societies would buy them by the truckload and distribute them either free or for a nominal cost. I have come to the conclusion that conservatives have little or no moral conscience and yet portray themselves as the self appointed distributers of God’s words….. and copper bracelets.
    for coffee the first and only time he and his wife

  13. Marian Cruz says:

    This is very disturbing. I know individuals that are paying very high premiums and are working full time. They have had to choose a higher deductible and then found themselves in the ER due to an accident.

    We need health care for all!

  14. Silver_Buck says:

    Hi there, I am a conservative tho some of U won’t think so. I’ve just seen too many health care double&overcharges that I don’t have the time Legal Staff to fight so I just pay them. And I’ve seen Medicare say “no” to similar things – and the overchargers don’t argue cuz they can’t. I don’t believe in handouts & I hate when I see people on eg welfare and they have a 55” flatscreen TV, agreed that is a problem. But when it comes to somebody needing health care I feel that “there except for the grace of God go I”. Perhaps the Religious Right would agree?

    So I have some suggestions, see if U think they would make SB 810 a success this time around and would mitigate common complaints, some of which are listed above. They may or may not get us all the way but getting a modified SB 810 passed is a huge step:

    1. Modify SB 810 so you have to be a resident of CA for 5 or 10 years (and prove it eg with your CA-540) to be eligible. This mitigates a common and legit complaint that millions will flock to CA to get free health care the next day.
    2. Modify SB 810 so we start OUT with small copays and deductibles. Say a min copay of $5 (not even a value meal) and a 5% copay on everything. If you cant pay that it is treated like a student loan – you MUST pay it back – but interest is only the %CPI since the goal is payback not profit. This mitigates the complaint of endless lines and waits.

    Is this enough? I am trying to add constructive things rather than just attack one side or the other. Comments welcome!

  15. Don Schroeder says:

    Dear Silver_Buck

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Let me respond to your suggestions individually.

    1. Regarding residency requirements for eligibility: The length of time required to establish eligibility has not been decided yet, although it will most likely be along the lines of eligibility for in-state tuition at California’s universities. Ultimately, this decision will be made by the Commission that is created to determine the revenue structure for the new single-payer system. It is possible that they will consider a longer eligibility period.

    2. Similarly, regarding copays and deductibles, those determinations have not been made yet, either. Small copays have been suggested for at least the first two years of the plan. However, it will be the Commission appointed when the bill is passed that will determine the appropriate copays and deductibles, if any. When the bill passes and the Commission is created, they will likely have a period for public comment. That would be a good time to make your suggestions known.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Don Schroeder, Chair
    California OneCare

  16. Silver_Buck says:

    Dear Don,
    Thx4 posting my comment and your reply.
    My theme though was that 3 things need to be quantified BEFORE SB 810 takes another try in Sacramento or at the ballot box:
    1. Eligibility Requirements – quantify a base case (see above) and options.
    2. Copay & Deductibles – same
    3. Cost – what will the total cost be (eg to start off & cover eligible (US Citizen and also CA Resident for x years but not currently on Medicare, Medicaid, or Employer-paid policy) and what added tax will each CA taxpayer pay as function of their CA income?

    These should be answered up front, not later by a commission, because if SB 810 has not quantified 1-2-3 up front, it is either because:
    a] its proposers don’t know the answers or
    b] they know the answers but don’t want to share them

    Either [a] or [b] is enough to scare away many legislators and voters too. And many of us like me feel that Public Comment periods are pretty much useless and toothless – BTDT (Been There Done That). I want SB 810 to succeed – truly – but 1-2-3 must be quantified before we try again. I would help if it would do any good!
    Thanks much

  17. David says:

    This is so long over due.
    The idea that dem State Senator actually prevented this from happening is insane and simply proves that dems in CA are as bad as GOPers in Washington DC.
    Health care cost needs to come down and services need to improve.
    Health care in the USA is now 17.5% of GDP (up from 15% several years ago) and even with ObamaCare it has only slowed Healthcare cost, not reversed that trend.
    Roughly 40% is not spent on health care
    17.5 % of the biggest Economy on the planet and 40% is not actually spent on healthcare.
    That is a truly staggering $$$ number.
    Bigger than many countries entire GDP.
    It needs to go back to the floor asap and those who opposed it last time need to be targeted for with Visits, phone calls, letters and pictures explaining the stories of what is happening for those without it.
    CA should be leading this instead. Vermont has put it together well before us.
    Even Montana may actually be ahead of us

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