How We’re Acting Upon SB 810

From Single Payer Now!

Last month, Assembly Speaker John Perez (D46) made the decision to prevent SB 810 from going up for a vote. Had he done so, and it passed, SB 810 would have moved through to the Governor’s desk, where Schwarzenegger would have vetoed it, as he has done twice before when an almost identical bill passed through the California Legislature under former State Senator Sheila Kuehl. However this time, the political “will” just wasn’t there.

So what now, you ask? The author, Senator Mark Leno has agreed to re-introduce the bill next year and we as single payer activists need to get out there and continue doing what we’ve been doing all along: winning the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens in favor of a Single Payer system.

Yes, it is a huge victory that we have passed the legislation twice before. Yes, SB 810 being shut down this time was a huge disappointment. However, it is quite clear that relying on Sacramento to just do the right thing as far as Single Payer is concerned is not an option. We have to create a climate where the political “will” is there, and voting against it would be unthinkable.

If anything, this serves as a wake up call that our work is far from done. We need to be more creative and diligent about exploring new avenues of winning support for single payer. Our movement is not just about supporting something, it’s about action and inspiring others to take action. I’m motivated and energized to go and talk to other people about single payer at a farmers market– or encourage people to write their legislator or give a talk to a local Kiwanis club — because I know these efforts are going to make a difference. It is precisely these kinds of grass-root actions that are going to make single payer a reality in our state; opening up a space for one-on-one dialogue, listening to what people have to say and addressing concerns in a clear, informed and honest way.

Now is not the time to lose steam, get disillusioned, or give up. We are a movement of compassionate, determined and hard working people. Let’s keep fighting, organizing and educating. We’re here for the long haul, and not giving up. We let the opposition do that.

Join the California single-payer movement by going to


  1. Polly Frizzell on September 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I’m a member of the Wellstone Democratic Club committee on Single Payer. I Feel we’ve done a really poor job of framing this issue. We talk about it in such an intellectual nuanced complicated way that in the end, our message doesn’t get across. I think we need to come up with one message that is simple, understandable and passionate. Instead of defending a government solution to the problem, I think we need to go on the attack and show how corporate health insurance has completely failed us, and how we just can’t afford it. I’d also like to know if there is any possibility whatsoever of bringing a class action lawsuit against Health Insurance Co. CEO’s. These people have been given money intended for our health care and deflected it to their own pockets. The result has been over 45,000 deaths each year. (my husband was one of these). Why can’t we take legal action against people who have profited by their decisions which have caused hundreds of thousands of American deaths. At the very least, this would put a media spotlight on the situation.(media attention we don’t have the money to buy). Any ideas?? polly Frizzell.