HomeU.S. CongressIf we want single payer healthcare, progressives have to pressure the Democratic leadership
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I’ve been following a little the debate, or should I say, the lack of a debate because of Anthony Rendon’s decision to put SB 562 on the shelf. (on hold I think is another term for it). The Intercept is reporting that Rendon did so because the bill lacked details such as financing, and even if it came up to vote, the issue would be having to repeal Prop 98, which provides priority funding for public schools in the state.

The Intercept is partially correct because I recall Phil Kim of Progressive California saying at a coalition building session for the DSA at the PS, that financing wasn’t mentioned in the bill. But the Intercept either failed to leave out why this was the case or didn’t dig far enough. Phil Kim penned a quick response to the Intercept’s piece yesterday that explains why the financing was not included right away:

3) Rendon is absolutely a roadblock to single payer. He is not allowing the Assembly committees to add and debate the financing. The fact that the bill would have to go to ballot later does not make him less of a roadblock.

4) Perpetuating the lie that SB 562 is a “shell bill.” The financing language was intentionally left out because the bill did not yet have two-thirds support in the Senate. In fact, 4 Dem Senators (Glazer, Pan, Hueso, and Roth) voted NO or abstained. The plan was to add the financing in the Assembly committees. The detailed UMass Amherst Pollin report has specific financing proposals (PDF).

In another response to the Intercept’s article, Michael Lighty, director of public policy for the CA Nurses Association and the NNU explicates a bit more about the Pollin Study and how legislative process could include financing:

No, we don’t know that. We can address those constitutional issues in the bill, and his cost estimate is exaggerated. A reading of the a study from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on SB562 would have corrected this mistake. Because of savings for individuals and businesses achieved by eliminating the insurance company premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, and because of slashed expenses in the system as whole by ending the waste, profit, and inefficiencies of the current healthcare industry, the cost is $37 billion less per year than what we spend now — while covering everybody with more comprehensive benefits.

Regarding waivers, there is authority under the Social Security Act for states to administer Medicare, and for the Healthy California plan to become a Part B provider, and provide subsidies under Part D. The Affordable Healthcare Act waivers enable states to improve upon Medicaid coverage and, yes, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act applies to employer-provided health benefits but does not impact programs that raise taxes from employers to fund universal healthcare. In fact, under ERISA states can regulate third-party administrators, which many self-insured employers use. Waiver authority under the ACA is also available to California, and exists in part to enable state single-payer. Congress, then, doesn’t have to do anything else.

Lighty’s rebuttal was tacked on the Intercept yesterday or this morning (I was not able to discern when that occurred).

So the bottom line is that a vote for this bill would set the stage for the next steps, which is hammering out how much financing. But unfortunately, as IBT discovered earlier this week, the insurance industry got to Rendon and probably the governor. Words but no deeds. A song without a melody.

What I would like to know from Phillip Kim is if the coalition building with Indivisible groups fell apart or if Indivisible turned out to be an astroturf group. I’ve been reading in Counterpunch how progressives making some momentum once Clinton lost until the Indivisible groups showed up, which goes back to the original question the diarist is posing.


Indivisible is turning out to be a phony DLCraporate astroturf ploy.


Got this fascinating piece in email this AM. https://popularresistance.org/newsletter-color-revolution-comes-home/

It deals with American Empire, the tools used in engineered coups around the world, and how the Deep State is now using those tools to quell dissent in the US. I learned a lot I didn’t know, and it is a very interesting read.


Good read, I noticed a while back that once the US military goes to a country we never leave. Then theirs the covert operations.


A little OT, but “tens of thousands” rally against austerity, which is for single payer, in the UK.

Many carried signs reading: “Austerity Kills,” “Cuts Cost Lives,” “Not One Day More,” and “Tories Out.”

After holding a minute’s silence in honor of the victims of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London, which killed at least 80 people, those in the crowd also staged a round of applause for the emergency services.

Protesters then headed towards a packed Parliament Square to hear Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other politicians and union leaders speak.

Corbyn told the crowd: “We are the people, we are united and we are determined, we are not going to be divided or let austerity divide us. We are increasing in support and we are determined to force another election as soon as we can.”


Our “leaders” in the democratic party resist single payer because their corporate masters tell them to. The ultimate limousine liberal, Nancy Pelosi, thinks what makes her the best person for (permanent) minority “leader” is that she raises lots of money. Gee, I wonder from whom.


Great diary Subir!

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