Gavin sells out Single Payer for 30 pieces of silver: COME TO CHIANG!


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This goes out to my fellow progressive Democrats, the ones who believe like me that single payer health care in Calfornia is an essential goal, and that it’s a litmus-test issue on where a politician stands on corporate profiteering versus the needs of the people … but who have thus far swallowed the charm and presumed inevitability of gubernatorial frontrunner Gavin Newom.  From the John Chiang camp last week:

Gavin Newsom has a history of saying anything and everything on single-payer, depending on which crowd he’s talking to. Now that Newsom has tamped down expectations and said single-payer won’t easily be passed by the next California governor, health insurance special interests are rewarding Newsom’s backtracking with over $3.3 million in donations and loans to independent expenditures supporting his campaign.

“Gavin Newsom has twisted himself into knots going back and forth on his stance on single-payer,” said Fabien Levy, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for John Chiang’s campaign. “While Gavin has always had one eye on doing whatever it takes to further his own ambitions, it’s now clear that his latest backtrack on single-payer was meant to drum up support and open the cash floodgates from health insurance special interests. Voters can’t trust him to serve now knowing he’ll say anything to get the outside help he needs to buy this election.”

In May 2017, Newsom said “I’m with you,” when asked by the California Nurses Association if he supported SB 562. And as recently as February of this year, Newsom criticized fellow Democrats for not being enthusiastic enough, calling them “Can’t Do Democrats.” However, Newsom has recently begun to walk back his support and tamp down expectations, admitting to the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board that single-payer would take “years” and that “there’s a lot of mythology about” simply signing SB 562 into law. Shortly after his comments, independent expenditures funded by anti-single-payer groups began spending millions to help Newsom’s campaign. Blue Shield of California recently donated $971,440 to a pro-Newsom group, their first contribution to date, while another group — funded with $925,349 from the California Medical Association PAC, $500,000 from the California Dental Association PAC, and a $1 million loan also from Blue Shield of California — recently reported spending over $1 million attacking John Chiang.

Levy added, “John Chiang was one of the chief architects of CalSavers, securing the retirement of over seven million Californians at virtually no cost to the state, and came up with the idea of lifeline grants to secure funding for community health clinics across California. He is the only candidate with a record of coming up with real solutions to the logistical and financial hurdles facing our state’s health care system, and the only one Californians can trust to move us to a single-payer system.”

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Background:

Newsom enthusiastically boosted single-payer, then “tamped down expectations.” Gavin Newsom spent much of his years-long campaign for governor presenting himself as the foremost cheerleader for single-payer healthcare. In May 2017, he said “I’m with you” when asked by the California Nurses Association if he support SB 562, the single-payer bill. And in a February 2018 speech to state Democrats, he lambasted his (Democratic) opponents for not being enthusiastic enough, saying, “I call it single-payer. It’s about access. It’s about affordability. It’s about time, Democrats! By the way, if these ‘Can’t Do Democrats’ were in charge, we would have never had Medicare and Social Security.” But recently, Newsom has backed off the advocacy and “tamped down expectations,” telling the Chronicle’s editorial board, on April 18, 2018, that it would take “years” and that “There’s a lot of mythology about” simply signing it into law.

Anti-single-payer groups have taken notice. Newsom’s backtracking hasn’t gone unnoticed by opponents of single-payer. First, a day after his comments to the editorial board, the California Medical Association endorsed Newsom“despite [their] differences over single-payer.” And on May 11, 2018 — less than a month after Newsom’s hedging comments — Blue Shield of California made its very first contribution to an independent expenditure supporting Newsom, chipping in just under a million dollars — $971,440.22. [California Secretary of State]

Other outside groups opposed to single-payer have helped Newsom as well, including Health Care Providers for Fiscal Accountability Opposed to John Chiang, which has received $925,349.35 from the California Medical Association PAC, $500,000 from the California Dental Association PAC, and a $1 million loan from Blue Shield of California. Of the contributions from the CMA, $23,391.27 came on May 7, 2018, while another $1,958.08 came on May 9, 2018. On May 7, 2018 and May 11, 2018, the group reported spending $1,278,579.92 in opposition to John Chiang’s campaign for governor.

Citizens Supporting Newsom for Governor 2018 – 1394881
Citizens Supporting Newsom for Governor 2018 reported raising $146,000 in 2017, from several wealthy San Francisco-area individuals, as well as another $50,000 in April 2018.On May 8, 9, and 10, 2018, several labor groups contributed a total of $2,804,650 to the independent expenditure.On May 11, 2018, Blue Shield of California contributed $971,440.22 to the independent expenditure. (Richard Swig, of San Francisco, also chipped in $2,500 the same day.)Health Care Providers for Fiscal Accountability Opposed to John Chiang – 1400864
On May 7, 2018 and May 11, 2018, the independent expenditure, Health Care Providers for Fiscal Accountability Opposed to John Chiang (Governor 2018), reported spending a total of $1,278,579.92 in opposition to John Chiang’s campaign for governor — $582,036.25 went toward a mailer, while the remainder was reported as going toward polling and research.The independent expenditure has raised a total of $2,425,349.35 since December 2017, including a $1 million loan from Blue Shield of California; $500,000 from the California Dental Association PAC; and $925,349.35 from the California Medical Association PAC. Of the contributions from the CMA, $23,391.27 came on May 7, 2018, while another $1,958.08 came on May 9, 2018.

The groups have been opponents of SB 562. Both the California Medical Association and Blue Shield of California have been opponents of single-payer healthcare in general, and Senate Bill 562 in particular. From the beginning, groups including Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross formally registered their opposition to the legislation, and the California Medical Association later formally registered their opposition as well.

Indeed, in a January 2018 letter to legislators, a coalition of healthcare groups — including the California Medical Association and California Dental Association — “blasted Senate Bill 562 as a proposal that ‘would dismantle the healthcare marketplace and destabilize California’s economy.’” The letter marked “an escalation in the opposition to the legislation.” [Los Angeles Times, 1/17/2018]

The support from anti-single-payer groups has not gone entirely unremarked. The widespread support for Newsom from groups adamantly opposed to the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system in California has not gone entirely unnoticed. After the CMA’s endorsement, the San Diego Tribune’s editorial board speculated on the reasons for the endorsement, writing, “But a second theory also makes sense: The CMA doesn’t believe Newsom actually thinks SB 562 has a chance to become law. So the CMA doesn’t fret over his pandering to the California Democrats who support a ‘fantasy’.” [San Diego Tribune, 4/23/2018]

Vern again:  It’s crunch time out there, and those of you who support Gavin – but have even the slightest doubts about him – should try to help us insure that we have a decent second choice in the Fall – and the other runners-up Villaraigosa and Cox are NOT decent second choices.  Please help us Chiang supporters get John into the runoff;  Gavin will still be there if you’re still enamored with him in the Fall.

And Republicans, I think the very competent, honest, and fiscally responsible Chiang is your best choice as well.

Vote John Chiang for Governor June 5!


About Admin

"Admin" is just editor Vern Nelson or associate editor Greg Diamond sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.