Sonoma County residents understand the anxieties associated with the current health-care crisis. When one hospital is making plans to shutter its doors, and another is struggling to survive, uncertainties abound.

The cost of providing care for uninsured patients is a major contributor to the financial distress of hospitals and other providers. Which is why Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature are trying to strike a bargain that leads to universal health care.

In Sunday Forum, Dan Walters, the veteran political observer for the Sacramento Bee, handicaps their chances of success.

Incidentally, the two words that define the bargaining associated with this issue are:

Who pays?

-Pete Golis