I witnessed the press conference that Frank Russo reported on at the California Progress Report, and saw lots of coalition partners there: CALPIRG, Consumers Union, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Latino Issues Forum, California Primary Care Association, and many others, including allies who spoke from the 100% Campaign of children’s groups like Children’s Defense Fund, AARP, as well as AFSCME, SEIU, and some other unions.
All folks that are still pushing for health reform in the next few weeks, albeit in different ways. Some are downright cheered by the passage of the Assembly bill, and the press attention, coalition interest, and general momentum it provides.
Others, already concerned about the prospects on the ballot, now see a potential obstacle in the Senate. (Senator Perata’s “DOA” comments have been clarified, suggesting there’s still hope right after the holidays.)
This process is like a bad action movie, in more ways than one. Some of the Governor’s health team are holed up in a back room of the Capitol, with movie posters filling the wall space… many from films that starred their boss.
The “Year of Health Reform” was an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, with lots of hype and buzz, and an opening sequence that was a blockbuster in terms of getting attention. Like in most movies, the protagonist was left for dead many, many times. And then, just at the climatic ending (Republicans legislators blockade any taxes), there’s a cliffhanger…
The special session is the sequel, and it’s not over yet. But like buzzworthy films (Back to the Future? Pirates of the Californian?), they planned a trilogy, with the third act as the ballot campaign for financing.
My point is that everytime the press calls the health reform effort dead, it seems to come back to life. Just like the hero in an action movie. Or the villain. Actually, the times that I have been most optimistic is when the media says that it is stalled. So I think the process will continue.
I’ve seen Indiana Jones get out of worse situations