Here’s an important post on the California Progress Report, an argument about why supporters of single-payer should support AB x1 1 (Nunez).
It’s written by Steve Schear, who is a long-time single-payer activist, active in the fight for Proposition 186, one of several founders of Health Access California 20 years ago, and until recently served on our board. He helped create the notion of the Health Care Options Project effort, which helped jump-start the current effort. He is still active, and currently co-chairs the Universal Health Care Action Network, a national group.
His arguments make sense to me, and mirror some of my thinking. Even though we work on a wide range of health issues, Health Access is a long-time, avowed single-payer organization, from developing the proposal that eventually became Proposition 186 15 years ago, to most recently in 2006, when we devoted our field organizing staff full-time to getting SB840 on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk, and continuing to be active this year, in keeping SB840 in the conversation.
I recognize that the notion that AB x1 1 is a strategic step toward single payer may be a selling point for some, but not for others. But here’s the point: if I am hitchhiking from Bakersfield to Sacramento, and there’s a vehicle that will take me to Fresno, I’m taking it. The vehicle might stop in Fresno, or maybe I can convince the driver along the way to go further, to Stockton, or all the way to Sacramento. Maybe not, and we will decide at Modesto to go our separate ways. The goal is still Sacramento, but it’s better to get moving, rather than the status quo of staying in Bakersfield. (No offense to those in Kern County.)
Steve isn’t alone on this one.