Update: SB 810 Appropriations Hearing

The Senate Appropriations Committee hearing adjourned without a vote on Senate Bill 810.  It has been moved to suspense and will be voted on in Appropriations on Thursday, January 19th.  Senators Price, Pavley, Lieu and Alquist spoke in favor of Senate Bill 810. And thanks to all of your had work with letters, calls and meetings with Senator Price – he has signed on as a co-author for the bill! In addition Senator Alquist asked to step up her support to the next level as principal co-authors.

Steinberg was not present and Kehoe was noncommittal. 

It was a great Senate Appropriations hearing on SB 810 with a stellar panel of speakers and more than 150 supporters from a good representation of unions, community, single payer groups, faith, small business owners, schools and municipalities. Panelists included:

  • Jim Kahn, MD, MPH, UCSF Professor and Physician who focusing on Single Payer financing and the fiscal benefits the state would realize through a single payer system.
  • Mona Field, Board of Trustees for Los Angeles Community College District who spoke on the savings Community colleges, higher educations and K-12 would realize through a single payer system – focusing funding back towards the classroom.
  • Roger Hicks, Small Business Clinic owner and Physician who told his compelling story of the struggles of his small business to cover their employees when costs continue to rise, while as a provider reimbursements stay stagnant year after year – all while his employees, is patients and his business suffer.
  • DeAnn McEwen, Co-President California Nurses. A Registered Nurse of more than 37 years spoke of the nurses support and the moral imperative to move to a single payer system. 

And our very own:

  • Dolores Duran-Flores, Legislative Advocate for the California School Employees Association shared members stories, some of whom actually sign over their check (or even write a check) at the end of the month to cover healthcare.

Therefore, today is the day (Wed.) to lobby Steinberg and Kehoe for their strong support of Senate Bill 810. Call or email Senators Kehoe and Steinberg and encourage them to support SB 810 and ask them to move the bill to the Senate floor so the full Senate can have a chance to decide if they will move Single Payer in California forward and help save our state’s budget.

Senator Christine Kehoe, San Diego Area (Appropriations Committee Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Fax:     (916) 327-2188
Email:  senator.kehoe@sen.ca.gov

Senator Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Area (Senate Pro Tem, Appropriations Committee Member)
Phone:  (916) 651-4006
Fax:  (916) 323-2263
Email: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov

Your Senator needs to here from you as well. If you do not know who your Senator is click here to find out.

Here are some important points for contacting your Senator:

  • Phone calls are brief and to the point
  • Tell them your, name and that you live in their district, and you are calling as a supporter of SB 810 and you are asking that they support it as well

Talking points for calls and letters:

  • If you are writing, tell a personal healthcare story if you have one
  • Stories related to increases in healthcare costs, limited access, denied care, unaffordable, bankruptcy, children who cannot get insurance, etc. are important for educating legislators on the impact to Californians and very compelling.
  • 1,000 Californians die every month due to lack of access to healthcare.
  • Single Payer as a solution to the State’s current fiscal crisis by saving $9 billion in the first year and billions annually going forward. Currently $28 billion dollars annually, or one third of the state budget, is related to healthcare, and while family premiums have gone up 150% – the time for Single Payer is now.
  • The $200 billion price tag for SB 810 is misleading – this is money already spent on healthcare – not a new expenditure, so there is no effect.

These are ideas for you to use to contact your Senator and Senators Kehoe and Steinberg. Please remember, SB 810 is a CSEA sponsored bill that would create a single payer universal health care system in California.