Anthony Wright is the executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health-care consumer advocacy coalition. He writes a daily blog on health reform, policy, and politics at www.health-access.org/blogger.html.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California titled 2007 "The Year of Health Reform." By early 2008, a comprehensive health-reform plan had been negotiated by a Republican governor and a Democratic assembly speaker. It was supported by a broad coalition of not just prominent community groups and labor unions but also key health providers, insurers, and business leaders. As a longtime consumer advocate active in the debate, I was disappointed that the effort ultimately stalled in California's Senate. The policy framework would have expanded coverage to the vast majority of the uninsured -- ultimately covering over 95 percent of Californians as well as providing financial assistance to millions of insured families now struggling with health-care costs.