California Speaks

California Speaks

California Speaks was a statewide deliberative forum on health care reform that took place on August 11, 2007 in eight counties in California: Humboldt, Sacramento, Alameda (Oakland), Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego. Nearly 3,500 people representing all segments of the population were randomly recruited to participate in this day-long discussion of health care reform proposals that are before the California legislature.


Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California proposed comprehensive health insurance reform for California on January 9, 2007 that would lead to nearly universal health insurance coverage in the state. The plan involved a complex set of requirements that employers provide health insurance or pay into a state insurance pool, that health care providers and insurers pay a new fee, and that all individuals be legally required to carry health insurance. The state would use the new fees to expand free or low-cost health insurance to those with low incomes, would allow higher income individuals to purchase “catastrophic” insurance, and would require insurance companies to sell insurance to any applicant (called guaranteed issue) [] , Los Angeles Times, Gov. offers bold prescription, Jan 9 2007, p. A1] By mid-year, two different Democratic proposals that overlapped the Governor’s proposal had merged into Assembly Bill 8 (AB8) and were seen as the most likely health insurance expansion bill to be passed and signed by California’s governor in 2007 [] ,Los Angeles Times, Democrats merge health plans, June 22 2007, p. b1] . Another bill with substantial support in the legislature proposed a single payer system, SB840. It was similar to a bill that had passed the legislature in a previous session and been vetoed by the Governor. [] ,Los Angeles Times, Kuehl's health plan to get new push, February 27, 2007 p. b1]

Much of the organizational ideas and effort were provided by AmericaSpeaks, a group which promotes deliberation as a community method in a variety of communities, regions and topics.

The forum

[ California Speaks] was designed as a non-partisan discussion about the major health insurance reforms in the state. Using neutral, accessible materials, a cross section of Californians learned about the different options and voted during the forum about what the state should do. The options focussed on issues concerning AB8 and, to a lesser degree, SB840. The product of the discussions will be presented to the Governor and legislative leadership to inform state legislation that is currently being negotiated in Sacramento.

The actual format of the discussions was that participants were divided into groups of 10-12 people, with a facilitator to make sure everyone got a chance to be heard. A discussion guide was provided which explained the background of the issues.

Each table reported its ideas using wireless computers and participants voted on the proposals, using a polling keypad. The entire group responded to the strongest themes generated from table discussions and voted on final recommendations to decision makers. Also, various local sessions across the state were in contact via interactive television simultaneously.

Results from the discussion were compiled into a report at the end of the meeting, and were given to participants, decision-makers and the media as the meeting concluded.

The results

Participants identified four key values to guide health care reform at the start of the forum:Health care should be affordable by all, everyone should have access, greed (profit) should not be part of the system, and wellness/prevention should be a priority. There was general support for the AB8/Governor’s range of proposals, with a number of conditions. Employer mandates were supported but most participants also wanted to assure that part-time and other employees were covered. Individual mandates were supported as long as there was an adequate standard for quality of care and other guarantees. [] California Speaks, Preliminary Report, August 11, 2007] Over 80% of this cross-section of Californians expressed a willingness to “share the responsibility” for paying for expanded health insurance.

The impact

The [ results] and interpretation were presented to representatives of the California Legislature and Governor on August 23, 2007. The intent of the process is that the opinions of this large (3,500 person) group of average Californians from around the state, who spent a full day discussing the issues, would inform the California health care reform debate.

While the results of the event were widely reported in the press and shared with lawmakers, it has had virtually no impact on the legislative debate in California concerning health care reform. In the two Assembly Health Committee hearings conducted during the special session on health care reform (one on October 31, 2007, the second on November 14, 2007) not one mention was made of the California Speaks report or event.


ee also

* America Speaks
* United States National Health Insurance Act
* Universal health care

External links

* [ California OneCareNow Campaign]
* [ Health Care for All—California]
* Video Archive of CaliforniaSpeaks (in chapters)
* Video Highlights (8-min)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • California Proposition 8 — Proposition 8 redirects here. For other uses, see Proposition 8 (disambiguation). Proposition 8 Eliminates Rights of Same Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional Am …   Wikipedia

  • California Proposition 8 (2008) — Proposition 8 is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled Eliminates Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry. [] [cite web|url=|title=LDS Donate Millions to Fight Gay… …   Wikipedia

  • California Charter Academy — The California Charter Academy (CCA) was formerly the largest charter school operator in California, with multiple campuses located throughout the state. CCA opened under the leadership of Mr. C Steven Cox, a former insurance executive. During… …   Wikipedia

  • California State Employees Association — The California State Employees Association (CSEA), founded in 1931 in Sacramento, California, is the largest state employee organization in California. It worked to create the first retirement system for California state workers, created a credit …   Wikipedia

  • Portal:California — Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences People Philosophy Religion Society Technology …   Wikipedia

  • Dublin, California — City of Dublin   City   Location in …   Wikipedia

  • Donald Duck in Old California! — Donald Duck in Old California comic book cover. Cover art by Carl Buettner. Story code W OS 328 00 Story Carl Barks Ink Car …   Wikipedia

  • Twin Bridges, California — Twin Bridges is a small unincorporated community on U.S. Route 50 near the Desolation Wilderness in El Dorado County, California in the United States. It has a population of 14 people according to census figures however as of 2008 the road sign… …   Wikipedia

  • Universal health care — is health care coverage which is extended to all eligible residents of a governmental region. Universal health care programs vary widely in their structure and funding mechanisms, particularly the degree to which they are publicly funded.… …   Wikipedia

  • Health care reform — This article is about political movements affecting the delivery of health care and health care systems. For more information about movements to improve health, see Health reform. Health care reform is a general rubric used for discussing major… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”