Just got back…
The California Senate has failed millions of Californians that are struggling under high health costs, that are uninsured, that are insured but at risk of losing coverage, or those being denied for so-called pre-existing conditions.
NO EXCUSES: There’s been lots of reasons given, about process and timing, but they are unconvincing. These Senators have no excuse for the many who suffer with the exisitng health care system–not timetables or the budget crisis or lack of revenues.
* There was over a year to negotiate, to be clear about what was needed and not needed to get the votes.
* Health reform is needed in good times and bad–and more acutely in bad times. It’s not like the uninsured suddenly don’t need health care during a recession. The need is still there.
* The proposed ballot measure would have raised $15 billion in additional assistance to California families–we certainly would have wanted more, but unless action is taken quickly, there won’t be a cent now. The Legislature had full ability to adjust the program based on the revenues that came in, what they had to work with. So how is $0 better than $15 billion?
THE FIGHT CONTINUES: We’ll keep working for reform. This wasn’t the first year of health reform, and it won’t be the last. We’ll continue to fight for significant health reforms, because California consumers can’t wait.
A WORD ABOUT NATIONAL IMPACTS: The need and urgency of the issue is real and ongoing. My consumer advocate colleagues in other states recognize that California has unique challenges in passing health reform, from our size, to the scope of the problem, to the structural obstacles to increasing revenues through the legislature or on the ballot.