Anthony Wright

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

Recent Articles

Lessons From California

The Schwarzenegger plan was a near miss, but well worth the trouble. The stage is set for the next effort.

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. But this is not the final round in the effort for health reform in California. What lessons can we learn from the near miss of 2007-2008? Persistence pays off. Gov. Schwarz-enegger seemed an unlikely health reformer. The Democratic...