Single Payer Now

Posted: Feb 4th, 2012

News & Video

Message from Senator Leno Regarding SB 810

January 31, 2012

Dear Friends,

Most of you have likely heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, failed to move off the Senate Floor by January 31st, meaning it cannot advance further in the legislative process this year. Despite our unwavering advocacy, too few members were willing to cast votes in favor of SB 810 this year, including several members who had voted for the legislation before.  Unfortunately this means that Californians will continue to have a broken health care system in dire need of change, but that is not for lack of effort.

I want to thank and recognize the valiant efforts of the many groups and individuals who worked so hard to make our universal health care bill a reality.  First, the California School Employees Association and California Nurses Association led lobbying efforts on behalf of SB 810 all year.  Also, Campaign for a Healthy California, Health Care for All, California Physicians for a National Health Plan, California One Care, Single Payer Now, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Health Professional Student Alliance, League of Women Voters and many other groups organized their members to advocate on behalf of the bill.

Finally, thousands of individual advocates made phone calls, attended meetings, marched and held signs at rallies, and sent letters, faxes and emails in favor of SB 810. Together, these efforts sent a strong message to legislators that the single-payer health care movement is here to stay.  I thank all of these passionate supporters from the bottom of my heart.

The single-payer movement is based on a long-term vision and strategy. This setback does not change our work to advocate for universal health care. We have always found the courage to speak out for health care for all, even when others around us told us it was not the right time. Ultimately, the powerful interests that favor doing nothing to repair our health care system can only be overcome by courage and determination – something our movement has in abundance.

I encourage you to continue building support for universal health care at the grass roots level within your communities. Reach out to your co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members about why their elected officials should vote for Medicare for All. Help build our case to the governor, other elected officials and those who are currently seeking office so that they know the people of California support single-payer legislation.

As the author of SB 810, I share your deep commitment to this cause, this movement, and the people behind it. We will not stop fighting until we have comprehensive health care for every Californian.


Senator Mark Leno

Reader Comments

What does Sen. Leno think about Elizabeth Sholes’s theory surrounding “rude constituents” who caused on-the-fence legislators to withhold their support? Ms. Sholes is the Director of Public Policy for California Church Impact. She has penned a public letter blasting overzealous callers who SO OFFENDED legislative staff with their raucous support for SB 810 that Sen. Leno’s fellow legislators refused to give him a courtesy vote.

Naturally, I think Ms. Sholes is justifying the bill’s failure in her own mind. However, does Sen. Leno believe that “too loud” support of a bill, in a nominal representative democracy, can backfire? Does he think that is why the bill failed?

Chris #

Ms. Sholes might be describing a “black ops” monkeywrenching by AHIP. These are not new tactics. Louis B. Mayer basically defeated Sinclair Lewis’ gubernatorial campaign by a comedy routine added to MGM’s newsreel, where a bunch of bums said they were headed to California where the EPIC plan had created a hobo paradise. A few right wing Breitbart-admiring SOBs calling impersonating SB 810 advocates would do precisely what Ms. Sholes is smearing Single Payer advocates with.

It’s time to put this before the voters. Ballot Initiative. SB 810 plus a funding mechanism. It’s not 1994 anymore. Let’s fight these SOBs. Let them foot-bullet themselves with “Possessed Sheep” type ads. People hate insurance companies. This is the way forward. Plus we should support the “Justify Rates” initiative this fall because it would give California a Public Option. Not as good as Single Payer, but it would be better than nothing.

Michelle Klein-Hass #

If single pay is like medicare I don’t want it. Medicare is terrible. If you want support give us information. how will we pick dr. hospitals, will we need referrals. who will approve treatments. what will be monthly premiums the answers to these questions will eliminate peoples fears and get the peoples support.

Bev Patterson #

[…] Healthcare Agency, to provide health insurance coverage to all California residents. But Leno could not pass the two-year bill and it died. But that was just the first try. Count on seeing another […]

When Obamacare fails, what's next? | CalWatchDog #

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