SB 810 Is On Your Senate Floor


Lawmakers have until Tuesday to act on the legislation.

The Senate voted 19-15 on the single-payer bill. The measure needed 21 to pass. Four Democrats abstained from the vote, and one voted against it (Van Oot/Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 1/27).


SACRAMENTO – The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide. The legislation passed with a 6-2 vote.

SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All,” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.

“SB 810 is the only proposed solution to the continuing patient care crisis that guarantees healthcare for all Californians and controls costs while eliminating the denials of care and restrictions of provider choice imposed by private insurance companies,” said DeAnn McEwen, a registered nurse at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and co-president of the California Nurses Association. CNA is one of the co-sponsors of SB 810.

SB 810 is sponsored and supported by a broad coalition of: Click to view

California currently spends about $200 billion annually on a fragmented, inefficient health care system that wastes 30% of every dollar on administration. Under Senate Bill 810, that wasteful spending is eliminated. The bill redirects the funds Californians already spend on health care to allow comprehensive coverage. In fact, studies show that the state would save $8 billion in the first year under this single-payer plan.

“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy. Consequently, fewer employers are providing health benefits to their employees, and those workers who are fortunate enough to receive coverage are paying higher premiums for diminishing services. By guaranteeing universal access for all Californians, our single-payer plan will reduce the health care burdens that are hurting families and our state’s economy.”

Next Steps& What you can do!

Call or write by the middle of this week. Check here to see who you are represented by:

THE ASK: Ask how they voted in the past. If they have voted for the bill in the past. THANK THEM for previously voting yes, and ask that they vote yes again on the Senate Floor. Juan Vargas should be asked to co-author SB 810 again, like he has in the past.

Senator Ed Hernandez (Los Angles area)
State Capitol, Room 4085
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone:(916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 445-0485

Senator Michael Rubio (Fresno/Bakersfield area)
State Capitol, Room 2066
Sacramento,  CA  95814

Phone: (916)651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989

Senator Juan Vargas (San Diego area)
State Capitol, Room 3092
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone:(916) 651-4040
Fax: (916) 327-3522

Senator Lou Correa (Orange County/Santa Ana area)
State Capitol, Room 5052
Sacramento,  CA  95814

Phone:(916) 651-4034

Senator Ron Calderon (Los Angeles/Montebello area)
State Capitol, Room 5066
Sacramento, CA  95814

Phone:  (916) 651-4030
Fax:  (916) 327-8755

Important points for Calls to Senators:

·       Phone calls are brief and to the point

·       Tell them your name and if you live in their district, and you are calling as a supporter of SB 810, thank them for their support in the past (unless it’s Rubio) and ask that they support the bill again for the Senate vote. If Vargas, ask that he co-author the bill again.

·       They may ask if you live in the district. It is OK to call other Senators, as the State Senate exists and should act in the interest of all Californians.

Talking points:

·       If writing a letter (mail or fax), tell your personal healthcare struggles if you have a story to share, and supplement with points below. (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.)
·       California must meet the challenge presented by President Obama – for states to do better than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is why he allowed states to request waivers to implement healthcare programs that can do better like SB 810.

·       The$200 billion price tag for SB 810 is incorrect – this is money already spent on healthcare – not a new expenditure, so there is no change. There is a trigger that is only initiated once funding is secured to pay for the program.

·       Mention Single Payer as part of  the solution to the State’s current fiscal crisis by saving $9billion in the first year and billions annually going forward. Currently one third of the state budget is related to healthcare which could be cut by one third to one half with a Single Payer system, saving billions of taxpayer dollars.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” 
―     Martin Luther King Jr.