Why Sen. Lou Correa voted against SB 810


Jan. 29, 2010


Yesterday the state Senate passed SB 810, the single payer health care bill sponsored by Senator Mark Leno (D, San Francisco) by a 22-14 vote. Today I spoke with Senator Lou Correa (D, Santa Ana), the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

At first, Correa’s staff refused to comment on why the senator voted against single-payer health care. But in a later interview, Correa himself said that in his district, his focus is “jobs, jobs, jobs, and not some bill without details. I do believe we need health care reform in this state, but this is not it.” Correa said his frustration is the “cost of the bill” — an estimated $200 billion — and he doesn’t “have a real clear read on the cost or detail of the bill.”

Correa said in Santa Ana, there are several hospitals teetering dangerously close to closing. He’s “worried about the jobs,” as well as the loss of medical facilities themselves. “In my opinion, California has universal health care already,” he said. “It’s called emergency rooms. Iit’s expensive, but it’s available to anyone. The government is already up to its ears in health care, and a major player with Medicare and prescription drugs.”

Then Correa said the bill really showed what was wrong with term limits. “Elected officials cannot control the unelected bureaucracies in the state when we are faced with term limits,” he said. According to Correa, “unelected bureaucrats” would direct and manage health care in the state under SB 810 . “Why should we turn over health care to an unelected bureaucrat?” he asked rhetorically. He added that state bureaucrats know that legislators will be termed out eventually and have to go back to the private sector, leaving the health care bureaucracy “unaccountable to even the electeds.”

Correa said term limits affect more than just getting politicians out of office. “The lessons that new legislators have not yet learned or lived through are issues like this,” Correa said. “That’s the underbelly of term limits.”

Photo courtesy Sen. Correa’s website (dist34.casen.govoffice.com)


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  1. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 29 January, 2010, 18:48

    And you will notice that, unlike the way OC Right and your friends do it, no one is threatening to burn Sen. Correa at the stake for voting against the single-payer bill.

    However, I am willing to bet that had one Republican lawmaker voted for the bill, you and John and Ken would have been bellowing for his or her “head on a stick!”

    Reply this comment
  2. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 30 January, 2010, 12:21

    At last, a democrat with some sense!
    I find it hard to believe that the legislators who voted “Yea” on this would have the nerve to add this burden to our states’ budget.

    Reply this comment
  3. Art Pedroza
    Art Pedroza 30 January, 2010, 15:54


    Really? Here is how the liberal blog Calitics reported this (notice their use of the word “attack”):

    You’ll be shocked to learn that Republicans are framing this as Democrats Out of Touch, and it’s possible that SB810’s supporters will get wobbly. Two things need to happen:

    Call the California Senators Calderon, Correa, and Wright and let them know that saving the state billions in waste and fraud is still politically viable – contact info on the flip.

    Push back on the corporate narrative – talking points and media links on the flip.

    Attack attack attack. If you’re not a constituent, call them anyway. Let them know that California can show the rest of the country that Democrats understand we want universal healthcare.


    Reply this comment
  4. Kronick-HCA
    Kronick-HCA 30 January, 2010, 23:24

    So Sen. Correa you repeat a lot of fluff talking point about jobs and excess costs for healthcare, but you refuse to do the homework that would prove that computer modeling by a nationally recogized firm, showed that California could insure all its insured, uninsured, and underinsured residents and save $8 billion per year. Doesn’t saving 25% of the cost of state, city, and county employees and retirees healthcare benefits mean anything to you? This modeling firm was so proficient at its work that United Healthcare purchased them and is now contolling their output. Certainly the LAO discounted those modeling studies as not inflationarily current but the metrics that the LAO used were not necessarily concurrent with a firm with decades of experience although it is more reliable then hot air.

    And does it not occur to you, sir, that close to 22% of the population of this state was uninsured and that using the money now spend on private insurer overhead to provide care for those uninsured and those who have recently been losing their jobs and insurance coverage might actually provide some significant economic stimulus?

    The PROBLEM is that private insurers are unaccountable, are not aligned with any structural governance or measurement control system, and are not integrated into any systemic interface with medical providers to initiate creative improvements to decades old procedures. The SB 810 legislation rectifies those failures in the existing healthcare conundrum as well as providing providers a public forum to negotiate reimbursement rates.

    Reply this comment
  5. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 2 February, 2010, 17:16

    #3, Notice there’s nothing about “recalling” Correa. Not a word about “heads on a stick.” And nothing about his being a “traitor.”

    The phrase “attack, attack, attack” obviously concerns the issue of health care reform. It is not a personal attack on Senator Correa.

    On the other hand, ask Assemblyman Anthony Adams if the Republican attacks on him were personal.

    Reply this comment
  6. Claire L. Pelton
    Claire L. Pelton 4 February, 2010, 23:19

    It is difficult for me to believe that this senator could be so absolutely clueless. Please let me know when his term is up so I can spread the word to my colleagues in his district to vote “NO.” For someone who equates ER care with universal health care, my description of him as “clueless” clearly isn’t strong enough.

    Sent with dismay that some Californians actually voted for someone so out of touch and so removed from reality

    Reply this comment

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