It looks like California and Vermont could go on two different trajectories in America’s battle for healthcare equality. On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate approved by 21-9 health reform legislation that would create a single payer system in the state. Once the bill is reconciled by both chambers of the Vermont legislature, it will land on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk. Shumlin is a strong supporter of single payer.

Meanwhile, in our state of California, SB 810 could be in jeopardy. Today’s scheduled hearing in the state Senate Health Committee was postponed to Wednesday, May 4. According to single payer advocacy group, Single Payer Central, two Democratic members on the committee – chairman Ed Hernandez and member Michael Rubio – are apparently wavering on the bill:

The Senate Health Committee was scheduled to discuss SB 810 on Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30pm. The Health Committee meeting has now been postponed to Wednesday, May 4th at 1:30pm.

The vote on SB 810 is in jeopardy of not passing because of two members of the Health Committee, Democratic State Senators Michael Rubio from Bakersfield, who is not in support, and the Chair of the Health Committee, Ed Hernandez, who is not sure what he thinks.

Please call Senator Rubio and ask him what it would take for him to vote yes. Call his office every day through May 4th until he responds to your simple question.
His Sacramento phone is 916-651-4016 and his fax is 916-327-5989.
His Bakersfield phone is 661-395-2620 and his fax is 661-395-2620.

Please call Senator Hernandez, the chair of the Health Committee, ask him what it would take for him to vote yes. Call him every day through May 4th until he answers your question. He is clearly placing politics above people’s lives.
He voted for SB 810 last year when he was an Assembly Member!
His Sacramento phone is 916-651-4024 and his fax is 916-445-0485. His West Covina phone is 626-430-2499 and his fax is 626-430-2494.

When calling Rubio and Hernandez, they may ask you if you live in the district. Do not get thrown off by the question. The fact is they are going to vote on your healthcare and you deserve an answer why they will not vote for legislation that provides healthcare for everyone, saves Californians billions of dollars, allows you choice of provider, and stops the insurance companies from controlling your health care.

If Hernandez and Rubio are having second thoughts about SB 810, it could be because they either feel the federal law is enough (which it isn’t), or the insurance industry is lurking around in the background. That’s why we have to act now. We must call our representatives, especially Hernandez and Rubio. We must burn up their phones. Click here for more detailed contact information for the state Legislature. California must join Vermont in moving toward healthcare equality.