Health Care Documentary Rallies Single-Payer Supporters in Sacramento
What is the best solution for reforming California's health care system? As California lawmakers and lobbyists continue to wrestle with an answer, supporters of single-payer coverage received a boost this week from a national figure: Michael Moore.
The filmmaker chose the state Capitol as the site of the U.S. premiere of "Sicko," his new documentary that calls for abolishing private health insurance and creating a government-run system.
The California Nurses Association arranged Moore's visit to the Capitol, which included a thunderous rally that had nurses calling for private insurers to hit the road.
By premiering his film in Sacramento, Moore displayed confidence that California legislators can get things done. He said he sees California as "a microcosm of the country, it seems to deal with issues first."
It's not likely, however, that California will adopt the single-payer coverage that Moore champions. Instead, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Democratic lawmakers are moving forward with plans that would overhaul, not eliminate, private health insurance. Single-payer legislation is still on the table, but it is does not stand a chance as long as Schwarzenegger is in office.
As lawmakers strive for an agreement on health care reform, they may want to study the results of a survey released this week by the California Medical Association in which 91% of physicians said the current health care system is "unsustainable."
The Legislature this week began considering a batch of bills, including a measure to develop staffing levels for hospitals and legislation to expand eligibility for Medi-Cal.