Daniel Weintraub of the healthcare policy blog HealthyCal.org reports on SB 810’s success in advancing out of the state Assembly Health Committee:
The California Legislature is moving on two fronts when it comes to health care reform. On a bipartisan basis, lawmakers have passed two bills to create a high-risk pool that will expand access to health insurance for people who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. At the same time, though, the Democrats who control the Legislature are pushing forward with doomed legislation that would create a Canadian-style single payer health plan.
The Assembly Health Committee was the latest hurdle cleared by SB 810, by Sen. Mark Leno. The bill would do away with health insurance as we know it and gather the estimated $200 billion Californians spend now in premiums, co-pays and deductibles, plus government subsidies, and put all of that money into one health care plan managed by the government. A state commission would define benefits and any cost-sharing and then negotiate with doctors, hospitals, labs and drug companies to provide the care and services for everyone.
You can read the rest of the article here. Weintraub suggests that single-payer legislation in California faces long odds to passage. However, I don’t think the legislation is necessarily “doomed.” Twice, the state legislature approved a single-payer program. It can happen again with a strong grassroots movement. SB 810 can survive the inevitable political hurdles if ordinary Californians sweep into office this November political leaders who have the courage to fight for the only real solution to our healthcare crisis. What is doomed is the current, unsustainable, insurance-based model, which will eventually collapse under the weight of out-of-control costs and unbridled greed.