Wooten, Eric

Eric Wooten is a Sacramento based political consultant. He is a former lobbyist for the League of Women Voters of California.

The Obama Administration’s Correct, But Inconsistent Health Care Decision

By Eric Wooten

Last week, federal health care officials denied California’s request to start charging Medi-Cal patients co-payments on everything from prescriptions to hospital stays. That would have been unprecedented and would have had a detrimental effect on access to health care services for the most vulnerable among us.  For those insured by the state, even a small co-pay would certainly lead to fewer seniors and children receiving services at all.

While the decision was the right thing to do to preserve the safety net for the 7.5 million Californians who rely on the state for health insurance, it was inconsistent with the Obama Administration’s previous damaging decisions, and out of line with California’s routine and unreasonable stance on Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.

Will Big Tobacco Torpedo the Special Election?

By Eric Wooten

Whether the special election is in June or November, this much is clear: given the dire consequences of an “all cuts budget,” this is the most important election facing California Democrats since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s relentless attack on working families in 2005.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Republican Party spent an astounding $62 million on that disastrous 2005 special election, which covered four initiatives.

From the Field: SD 15 Still Up for Grabs

By Eric Wooten


We’re at the half, and despite an impressive number of yards gained by Team Blakeslee, this game is still tied!

That’s how a sports announcer would call the special election to replace Abel Maldonado in Senate District 15.

Yet some fans (of both teams) believe Republican Sam Blakeslee has already won, despite the campaign only being half over.  And no, despite the rumors circling Sacramento as late as Friday, there aren’t enough ballots hiding in some clerk’s office for Blakeslee to win.

Turning a blind eye is costing our kids

By Eric Wooten

Everyday, millions of responsible Americans sit down, log on and break the law.

Despite being banned by federal law, online poker is an immensely popular American pastime that shows no signs of waning. It is estimated that up to 15 million Americans play internet poker with some regularity.

Our country’s schizophrenic approach to online gaming has created a virtual Wild West boomtown, where a handful of crooks and thieves can easily hide among the many reputable gambling establishments.

The Special Election Hiding in Schwarzenegger’s State of the State Address

By Eric Wooten

We’ve come a long way baby.

A political tsunami swept Arnold Schwarzenegger into office and he enjoyed sky-high popularity and enormous political capital.  

Now he’s entering his lame-duck year with approval ratings hovering in the mid-20’s, much of his political capital squandered on the disastrous 2005 special election and a looming legacy that’s a far cry from the lofty goals he set for himself at the beginning of his term.

So why has Arnold outlined a political agenda that's ambitious, even if he had undertaken it at his political apex, rather than his current nadir?

Because he has no intention of succeeding.

That Ticking Sound is the Lifetime Limits in the Senate Healthcare Bill

By Eric Wooten
What’s your life worth? Under the Senate’s healthcare bill, a lot less than you might guess.
When President Obama promised that any healthcare bill he signed would eliminate lifetime and annual limits on coverage, members of both houses of Congress applauded.
If you have health insurance already, this sounds pretty good, right?  Wrong. 
Under the Senate version of the healthcare bill, caps are NOT eliminated for existing policies. If you have health insurance now, your caps remain in place, unless you can get a new health insurance policy. But since most new (and affordable) plans are only going to the young and healthy, this leaves most of us out in the cold.

The US Senate and the Scarlet “A”

By Eric Wooten

One of the biggest battles for reproductive freedom is being waged right now and it’s happening largely behind the scenes of the national healthcare debate.

In return for his one vote, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) was able to jam new restrictions on abortion coverage into the Senate healthcare bill, stigmatizing women who want their private insurance to cover these medical procedures.

Specifically, Senator Nelson’s amendment will require women who wish to have abortion care as part of their health insurance to cut a separate check for it.

You didn’t drink too much eggnog – you read that correctly. Under the Democratic healthcare plan proposed in the United States Senate, women will have to write a separate check to their private health insurer if they want abortion coverage.