Lots of happenings on health today in Sacramento:
* The Appropriations Committee (Frank Russo gives some flavor here) passed the health care reform plans, as expected.
* More information came out about the release of Sicko, the Michael Moore film, including a premiere that night hosted by Speaker Fabian Nunez in Sacramento on June 12th, as well as a 2p.m. rally that day with Sen. Kuehl and the California Nurses Assocation. (Jon Myers at KQED and Jordan Rau at LA Times have reports).
* On the other side of the spectrum, the Pacific Research Institute hosted a luncheon panel at noon attacking any health care reform, from the Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to Senator Kuehl’s.
* Together for Health Care, a pro-reform coalition that includes California Medical Association, Catholic Healthcare West, California Labor Federation, SEIU, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, HealthNet, AARP, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the California Teachers Association have launched their first ad. The tagline: “If we don’t make health care better, it will keep getting worse.” Hard to disagree.
The coalition is one of the rash of new health policy coalitions at the state and federal level. (Here’s a scorecard.) It’s a sign of the times that momentum is gaining on reform, and that is in itself is positive. Yet the diversity of the group (which includes some members and allies as well as sometime and frequent adversaries of Health Access California) means that their agreement is general, not too much beyond broad principles. (Here’s one press report.)