What if a Committee Passes Health Care Reform and No One Cares?

I thought doing a round-up of news stories on the Assembly Health Committee’s approval of ABX1-1 (Nunez) and defeat of ABX1-9 (Villines) would be easy to pull together. It’s the most activity yet during the two-month old special legislative session on health care reform. True, the outcome was no surprise. And as I wrote yesterday, the most important takeaway is that there’s no deal yet. But still, something actually happened.

Turns out there’s not a lot of rounding up to do. The Sacramento Bee has a story summarizing what happened as does the California Progress Report blog. But the event didn’t make it into many newspapers. I don’t think this reflects any potency in health care reform as a news item of concern to Californians. Rather it seems to reflect the reality that yesterday’s committee hearing was more perfunctory than meaningful. Like sharks, legislation needs to keep moving to live. So ABX1-1 kept moving. But as the hearing gave no hint that a deal between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic Leadership was imminent, that’s the only purpose it served — to keep things moving.

At least that seems to be the conventional wisdom. In yesterday’s post I noted the support of Labor and progressive community groups behind ABX1-1, at least in principle, as noteworthy. But I guess it didn’t rise in importance to a level sufficient to justify editors using this news to separate the Macys ads from the Kohl’s advertisements.

2 thoughts on “What if a Committee Passes Health Care Reform and No One Cares?

  1. I haven’t heard of any polls, but I’m sure they’re out there. Whether it will pass or not isn’t a simple thing to predict. There will be a well funded opposition, but much of the money will come from interests the public doesn’t hold in high regard (tobacco and insurance companies). The state will have just gone through a wrenching budget battle to close what is expected to be a $10 billion deficit, so voters won’t be inclined to send the state more money. However, health care reform ranks high on the public’s priority list so if there’s any issue voters would sign-up for more spending on, this might be it. Finally, November 2008 is 12 months away on the calendar, but that’s an eternity in politics. So anything could happen.

    So that’s the official non-answer. My prediction, as of now, is that it wouldn’t pass.

  2. Alan,
    Thanks for taking the time to follow all of this. I always appreciate your analysis. Who knows what will happen…

    Do you think that with the California deficit that people will vote for a proposition to raise taxes for health care?
    I’d be very interested to see if there are any polls on this. Thanks again for following this for us.

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