On this episode, Kumars is joined by guest-co-host Nora Barrows-Friedman, reporter and associate editor for The Electronic Intifada. After having some fun in the show intro, Kumars and Nora talk to Theresa O'Connor from Health Care for All - California, an organization fighting for single-payer healthcare in the state. She is also on the communications committee for the “Healthy California” coalition, a coalition of healthcare, community, and labor groups working to pass single-payer legislation in California during the 2017-2018 legislative session. We wanted to have Theresa on to tell us about a piece of legislation her group is helping to push that might make single-payer healthcare a reality in California, State Bill 562. Theresa tells us how she got involved in the fight for single-payer healthcare after Bernie Sanders made it a rallying cry during his Democratic primary campaign. She talks about the rich history of single-payer activism in California that gives the state a real chance at establishing a single-payer system in the current political climate. We discuss the expected contours of the bill, since it is currently just a so-called "spot bill", meaning that the final, specific language is yet to be released. We also talk about some of the obstacles the bill faces, and what activists are doing to build power to make single-payer healthcare a reality. Theresa gives her thoughts on the epic failure of the ACHA, Trump and Paul Ryan's proposed replacement for Obamacare, and what this means for the fight for single-payer. Finally, Theresa discusses ways to get involved in this fight, both in California and in other states. Find a chapter of Healthcare for All-California near you!
You can follow Nora on twitter at @norabf. Follow Theresa at @RedwoodGirl. Also, make sure to check out Theresa's explainer piece about SB 562 published on Medium. Follow the Healthy California coalition on Facebook. Follow Healthcare for All - California on Facebook as well. Check for updates on this fight from the National Nurses United, one of the biggest labor backers of SB 562.