California Senate Approves Single Payer

With a measure that will undoubtedly be overturned by a Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger veto, this week California State Senate approved a single payer health care system in the state.  This is the second move in recent weeks by the California State Legislature to overhaul the existing state system in absence of national reform. While the reforms are without question needed for the state, the timing could have been better.

California lawmakers have not acted prior to this point because they hoped national health care reform would address the health insurance problems facing California.  This was evidenced by remarks from leading Democrat Senator, Christine Kehoe (San Diego), “If it’s not to be done at the national level, let us take the lead.”

Progressive blogger Brian Leubitz at Calitics points out:

As we water down health care reform in DC, somebody has to carry the torch forward for real reform.  This is the point of SB 810, to show that there is another choice, another system that we could build.  If we completely drop single payer from our platform of ideas, we’ll simply see the Republicans calling some more centrist idea crazy and unamerican.

While it is true that demanding more progressive solutions may shift the legislative spectrum to the left, demanding more in the same breath as conceding political defeat is simply scoring political points.  It is highly doubtful this bill would be approved by Jerry Brown, the leading Democratic Candidate for Governor.  In politics timing is everything.  By passing this bill now, California lawmakers have accepted defeat at a national level and have given future California governors precedent to logically vetoing future single payer legislation.

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6 Comments

Filed under Health Policy

6 responses to “California Senate Approves Single Payer

  1. Sacramento doesn’t get it. Single payer is DOA. There will be a revolution if this moves forward. These leftist, socialist are fabulists and ignore what the people want. Let’s stop it in it’s tracks and tell these blooters get out of our lives. We will get this message to them by kicking them out. Get a clue from Washington and concentrate on jobs. We don’t want Washington or California dictating our health care needs.

  2. Xcave

    The idea that it is “highly doubtful” that Jerry Brown would approve this is stupid. No Democratic Governor would ever veto single-payer health care. It would be political suicide.

    Will Brown be the one on the front lines fighting to get the Assembly to pass S.B. 810, making calls to senators and representatives? Probably not. But if it is passed, he isn’t about to veto the liberal Holy Grail. It would effectively destroy any chances of enacting the rest of his agenda

  3. jj

    The photo shows a demonstrator with a sign reading “Health Care is a human right”.

    But is it? Why? Why not food? You can live fine without healthcare, the very existence of the human species over many millennia proves that life manages to persist on this planet without any health care.
    But you need food to live or else you will surely die. As is documented by all the great famines in history. So is food a human right too? What about shelter? Surely you could die without having some shelter. So far, we’ve identified medical care, food, and housing as things that are human rights. Well what about transportation? Very important especially when you have to commute. And, don’t forget the land. You can’t very well grow food without land. And you’ll need seeds. And fertilizer, so you’ll either need animals or some stuff from the garden department down at Home Depot.

    So, to recap, medical care, food, a house, a car/free transit, some land, some seeds, and/or livestock/fertilizers.

    I guess we better get cracking making sure that everyone can be the recipient of a government program to steal the funds from those “other ” people (who presumably are the ones who have all these things of their own already), to pay for all these “rights”.

    You know what galls me? There is always a lot of noise about human rights. Human rights this, civil rights that, immigrants rights, minority rights, etc. Never any mention of the flip side, the “responsibility”. When are we going to start talking about human responsibility?

    • Kris

      It is the responsible thing for a government to provide health care to all its citizens, jj. Bob, in his comment below, mentions that most free nations already do provide healthcare to their citizens.

      We are in this together and should help each other, not act as if those who are afflicted or need assistance should just be ignored or stepped over…

  4. Dave

    “You can live fine without healthcare, the very existence of the human species over many millennia proves that life manages to persist on this planet without any health care.”

    Human history proves that life “manages to persist” without the right to life, freedom of expression, or legal private property, too. For some reason, we in certain civilized nations demand more, however.

  5. Bob

    You make a good point for not having a health bill for everyone. Except your argument negates the fact; most free (world) countries have a health program for their citizens. The most powerful country in the world, does not!

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