11 June 2007

Kuehl's single-payer bill passes in CA

This is big news. Senator Sheila Kuehl's single-payer bill, SB840, for California passed the California Legislature on June 6. The vote was 22 to 14, with only Democratic votes in support and 13 Republicans plus Democratic State Senator Lou Correa voting against the measure. This story from KPBS gives positive but brief and balanced coverage:
The State Senate has approved a measure that would create a single-payer, universal healthcare system in California. Critics call it socialized medicine, but supporters say it’s the gold standard for healthcare reform. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

Under the single-payer system, all private and public money currently spent on health insurance would be pooled. The state would use that money to run one healthcare plan for all Californians.

Donna Gerber is with the California Nurses Association. She says a single-payer system would be run like Medicare.

Gerber: It leaves the private hospital and doctor and other providers in place -- it simply takes the insurance industry out, which also in the process saves 30 percent of every healthcare dollar.

Governor Schwarzenegger doesn’t like the idea. He vetoed a similar measure last year, and says he’ll do the same thing if the bill hits his desk again.

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