Single-Payer Slayer: SB 562 Healthy CA Blocked by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. A DPOC resolution anybody?




[Editor’s Note: Ricardo Toro submitted the following story overnight, which I think pretty well reflects the common wisdom as to what happened late last week with respect to Speaker Anthony Rendon pulling the brakes on Sen. Ricardo Lara’s “single-payer” bill, SB 562.  My [Greg’s] take on what is happening is more controversial, nuanced, and idiosyncratic.  At one point, with Ricardo’s kind permission, it was going to appear at the end of this story.  On second though, though, I’ve decided to make it its own post.  – GAD] 

Fullerton town hall on Health Care

The reluctance of some Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein, Gov. Jerry Brown, and candidate Antonio Villaraigosa to support a single payer type of healthcare was echoed by the Lakewood’s Assembly Speaker decision, this past Friday, not to let the bill pass beyond the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice. This means that the bill will not be debated and voted on by the assembly in the near future; it is practically shelved until November 2018, the end of the assembly two-year session.

His excuse is that “SB 562 was woefully incomplete”, although an economic study of this bill concluded that it is a viable proposal (see this LA Times Op-Ed). The “many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation” could have been timely debated in the assembly. Especially now that both the Congress and US Senate have drafted drastic healthcare cuts with very limited public debate.

Speaker Rendon’s decision may be to avoid Gov Jerry Brown embarrassment of vetoing the bill, but also as a natural response to the support he has received from the healthcare industry. Activist Lauren Steiner has pointed out that Rendon has received $475 ,000 from the industry since 2012 and that Eric Bauman, the apparent new CA Democratic Party chair, was his advisor while Bauman was a consultant for big pharma that helped beat proposition 61 (to limit prescription drug prices).

Greg (Diamond), OJB editor, had already predicted in a comment in a previous related post, that the bill was going to be stalled: “Unfortunately, I think that Sen. Stephen Glazer and to a lesser extent Richard Pan and the other two abstainers have already signaled that the bill is dead for this session, as soon as it comes back with a funding mechanism, if not before, and probably by Gov. Brown’s hand if it’s not passed quickly enough to allow the Legislature to override a veto.”

I was going to contact the new DPOC central committee member who has become an expert on writing resolutions, Dan Chmielewski, to present a resolution supporting SB 562. However, I have doubts that he and/or the County Central committee will do so now that a Bauman’s protégé , Rendon, is trying to pull the plug on this single payer proposal.

Health care support rally in Rendon’s district.

A massive canvassing took place in Rendon’s district last Saturday, and another town hall took place in Fullerton this Sunday. A petition is being sent to the Speaker to rescind his decision, and a die-in event will take place this Tuesday at his Los Angeles office.

Anti-Rendon health care graphic

Tuesday, noon, Los Angeles Area

“Inaction = Death” event at Anthony Rendon District Office 12132 South Garfield Avenue South Gate, CA 90280 Facebook events page:

Wednesday, 11 AM, Sacramento

Stop Delay and Pass SB 562 Event Join us to urge the California Assembly to stop the delay and pass SB 562. We’ll meet at the intersection of 11th/L, outside Chicory, in Sacramento, CA. Facebook events page:

Can’t be there in person? Other action to take:

Sign the petition

(Note that Rendon didn’t actually write this.)  And Bauman was his campaign advisor because agreeing to that was part of the price of Rendon’s getting the endorsement of Bauman (and those of his many enablers) for Speaker. If Rendon hadn’t cooperated, whoever HAD cooperated would have become Speaker. “The more you know! ” Have a nice day! — GAD

UPDATE: I just called the Speaker’s office (3:15 PM) and talked to one of his aides, Veronica. She states that the Speaker has not tabled the bill. He is willing to move it forward but she claims that the sponsors of the bill, Senators Lara and Atkins, have not provided the information on how to fund the bill. I mentioned to her the recent financial study done by Dr Pollin’s team; she was not sure whether that the Speaker is aware of this information, and that probably this study was not incorporated in the proposed bill.

I will send her a link to the study for her to forward it to the Speaker, and will contact Lara and Atkins’ aides to make sure they provide the requested information, which may or not may be needed to move the bill forward.  Either the aide is giving misleading information or she is badly informed, she has not read the Speaker’s statement issued on Friday.

[Ed. Note:  So why would I possibly object to piling on Rendon — who is in my personal doghouse right now! — over this?  Check back later this afternoon!  — GAD]

About Ricardo Toro

Anaheim resident for several decades. In addition to political blogging, another area of interest is providing habitats for the Monarch butterfly.