We join The Coalition for A Healthy California and PNHP-CA to seek your help starting Friday, February 15th.
Please take a moment to make brief, polite phone calls to encourage an Assemblymember to author and introduce single payer legislation in the Assembly by next Friday, February 22nd.
If the bill is not introduced in time, there will be no single payer legislation this session, which lasts two years.
Senator Mark Leno authored the single payer legislation, SB 810 in the past two sessions (four years) and the bill failed last year by only two votes. At the end of last session, Senator Leno declined to author the bill again and suggested we seek an author in the Assembly. Despite concerted efforts, we have not been successful in finding an Assemblymember to introduce the bill. We are told that the legislature is focused on implementing the private health insurance exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Single payer bills SB-810 and SB-840, which passed twice, had over 40 Co-Authors in the legislature previous years!
Tell our Assemblymembers they can chew gum and walk at the same time! A single payer system cannot be implemented until 2017 – the date the Affordable Care Act allows states to go beyond the ACA and set up their own healthcare systems. We can both implement the health exchange this year and get California ready for single payer in 2017.
HOW TO HELP
Please call the following legislators starting Friday and request that they carry the single payer legislation. Ask for the legislative aide listed below. If they are not available, please ask for their voicemail and leave a brief message. If voicemail is unavailable, simply leave your message with the person who answers the phone. Be sure to mention if you happen to live in the district.
Here are the legislators to call, with the name of their aide:
1. Paul Fong (28, Sunnyvale): Andrew Medina (916-319-2028)
2. Bonnie Lowenthal (70, Long Beach): MJ Gascon Flores (916-319-2070)
3. Rob Bonta (18, Oakland): An-Chi Tsou (916-319-2018)
4. Richard Gordon (24, Los Altos): Angela Pontes (916-319-2024)
5. Mariko Yamada (4, Vacaville): Robert McLaughlin (916-319-2004)
6. Mark Stone (29, Monterey, Santa Cruz): Arianna Smith (916-319-2029)
7. Shirley Weber (79, San Diego): Crystal Quezada (916-319-2079)
We need and appreciate your ACTION NOW. We also appreciate your generous DONATIONS. With your help, WE WILL WIN!
Andrew McGuire, Executive Director, California OneCare Campaign & California OneCare Education Fund
(Our thanks to our friends at PNHP California (Physicians for a National Health Program – California) for this Alert)