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Single-Payer Health Care Plan Makes It Out Of Committee At State Capitol

Hundreds of supporters of a single-payer health care system came to the state capitol on Tuesday. Their showing helped pass a single payer plan out of committee. However, the strong showing of public support will probably have little sway with Governor Schwarzenegger.

Proponents of the single payer system say it is cheaper and provides better results than the private health care model. And at the state capitol, supporters filled a committee room and spilled out into the hallways for a chance to speak.

It took 45-minutes to get through that testimony and members of the Assembly Health committee seemed genuinely impressed by the turnout. Essentially, single payer means the state is the insurance company. And while it’s popular among progressives, San Francisco Democratic Sen. Mark Leno says he expects Governor Schwarzenegger will issue a veto. That’s because the governor has done it twice before with similar measures.

"But we’re moving forward because it continues the debate," said Leno. "Keep in mind without the bill, and without this hearing, you’re listeners wouldn’t be learning about single paying health care reform."

In the past, Schwarzenegger has said he can not endorse socialized medicine. Business groups also oppose the plan, saying the taxes needed to pay for the program would be too high.

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