Senate's courage on "courageous" health bill

Hooray for the sound defeat in the state Senate of the the ineffectual business-as-usual health care proposal cobbled together by Schwarzenegger and the Assembly.

While the Los Angeles Times front-page article today depicts the defeat as a blow to Californians and to reform efforts nationally, it's essential to note that the bill was rejected by Republicans, yes, as expected, but also just as resoundingly by Democrats who easily saw that the bill wouldn't even begin to solve the problems of health coverage that lower- and middle-income (and even upper-middle-class) Californians face. The Democrats included, notably, Sheila Kuehl, who sponsored the true real-life reform bill that Schwarzenegger chose to veto a year and a half ago.

Now, perhaps, this proposal can become a model nationally for how not to address the health care crisis in ways that preserve every weakness of the current system and that thereby promise to help almost no one. The defeat, we can only hope, will cease to lead to hand-wringing about the defeat of "bold" reform, and will instead encourage our political leaders toward proposals that show less concern for the welfare of insurance companies and more for Americans' health.

Are you watching, Obama and Clinton and Edwards?

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