Issues Healthcare for All/Single Payer State Senate Rebuffs single-payer health plan to insure all Californians and Relieve State Budget Crunch

PNHPCASpokespersons for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)–California today decried the failure of the California state Senate to pass SB 810, the California Universal Care Act, in the current legislative session. The bill died today on the Senate floor as it became clear to its backers that they were a few votes short of passage.

The California Universal Care Act would create a single, public, statewide program to give health insurance to all Californians, much like an improved Medicare-for-All plan that has been proposed at the federal level.

“It’s time we put health care in the category of a social service that everyone needs, like our public schools and highways, instead of treating it like a commodity that only well-to-do people can afford,” said Dr. Bill Skeen, PNHP-California’s executive director. “Today’s vote is a temporary setback on the road to win quality, comprehensive and affordable health care for all.”

SB 810 would create a new California Healthcare System, which would pay the bills for health care for all Californians and be financed by progressive taxation, rather than by premium payments to private insurers.

“The system would receive money from all current sources of health care funding, public and private, to give it sufficient revenue to pay the estimated $200 billion currently spent on health care in our state,” Skeen said. “Under the new system, Californians would be free to seek services from any medical provider. Providers remain in the private sector; only the financing of the system would change. The difference is that that all Californians would be fully covered.”

Critics claim that such as system, often referred to as “single payer,” would be too costly. Dr. Henry L. Abrons, president of PNHP California, said: “That’s simply not true. Currently the U.S. spends twice as much as any other country on health care. We have plenty of money in the system, enough to insure 100 percent of us; we just need to eliminate the administrative waste and spend our money more wisely.”

Dr. Abrons continued: “The best way to save money is to take the private insurers out of the system. They are responsible for 30 percent of each health care dollar being lost to pay for exorbitant CEO salaries, lobbyists, sales and marketing, unnecessary paperwork and shareholder profit. Medicare’s overhead, by contrast, is only 3 percent.

“A single-payer system is the only solution that provides built-in cost control,” he said. “Moving to a single-payer system would save the state of California billions and solve the state’s budget crisis.”

Joseph Foy, who coordinates the California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA) said, “Grassroots activists are not deterred by this setback in the Senate. The movement for single-payer health insurance is growing stronger every day.” Both CaHPSA and PNHP California are members of the statewide coalition known as the Campaign for a Healthy California. Foy said, “We’ll be working alongside our coalition partners to get our message out, especially in the districts of legislators who are not yet on board.”

The author of SB 810, Sen. Mark Leno, has promised to reintroduce the legislation in the next session. Twice before the legislation passed the Senate and the Assembly, only to be vetoed by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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This State Is Working Toward The Nation's First Universal Health Care System

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CTVNews.ca Staff 06 Oct 2013 Hits:869 HCA Articles

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Longshore Union Quits the AFL-CIO

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Mark Brenner | Labor Notes 09 Sep 2013 Hits:568 HCA Articles

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When Obamacare sabotage turns cruel

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Steve Benen | Maddow Blog 05 Sep 2013 Hits:665 HCA Articles

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Building a Majority for Universal Care

PDA is and will always be in the forefront, fighting to achieve universal access to care. Whether we call it single-payer, improved and expanded Medicare for all, universal care, or health care human rights, achieving access to a single standard of high quality care for all without financial barrier is our ultimate goal.  Building momentum is our mission.  From the inception of our Healthcare Not Warfare campaign several years ago, PDA has been a leader in the movement for health care justice. The passage of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare was and...

Donna Smith 19 Aug 2013 Hits:431 HCA Articles

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‘Medicare for All’ would cover everyone, save billions in first year: new study

‘Medicare for All’ would cover everyone, save billions in first year: new study

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Physicians for a National Health Plan 16 Aug 2013 Hits:772 HCA Articles

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Sen. Reid: Obamacare ‘Absolutely’ A Step Toward A Single-Payer System

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Avik Roy | Forbes 15 Aug 2013 Hits:759 HCA Articles

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Contact us at:
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PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:

Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.


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113th Congress HCA - Legislation

Healthcare for All IOT Calls

  • 06-17-2014 Healthcare Human Right

    Listen to the June call as we speak with special guest, Liz Warren, the National TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) Team Coordinator. Liz discusses how to build allies in the fight for expanded Medicaid, action strategies from the states needing...

  • 05-20-2014 Healthcare Human Rights

    Listen to this month's riveting call with Rev. Rodney Sadler of the North Carolina Moral Mondays movement discussing organizing for the "moral imperative" of access to care and strategies for engaging the faith community as allies; Joel Segal,...

  • 03-18-2014 Health Care Human Rights

    Join us this month for a "working call" and a discussion of plans to move Single Payer forward via targeted members of the House and Senate. We also discussed last week's Subcommittee Hearing on Access and Cost: What the US Health Care System...

  • 02-18-2013 Health Care Human Rights

    Listen to this month's call as we discuss what we want to take to Winslow, how we move bills at the House and Senate level, as well as what to do at the state level.

  • 01-21-2014 Health Care Human Right

    Listen to the preview of what will be talked about at Winslow, how this team will be changing it's approach, and the discussion by the team about how we move the cause forward for Single Payer. Strategy in relation to targeting congressional...

  • 12-17-2013 Health Care Human Right

    Special guests on call: Michael Milligan, the author of and actor in the Mercy Killers, and Cindy Young, Community Organizer for National Nurses United and Campaign for a Healthy California. Michael speaks about the Mercy Killers and his impetus...

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