Sacramento – As the California State Assembly prepares for a health committee hearing next Tuesday to consider the California Guaranteed Healthcare for All Act (AB1400), which would create a single-payer health care coverage system for all California residents, dozens of municipalities and counties across the state representing more than nine million residents have passed resolutions that officially endorse the bill.
Many of California’s largest cities – including Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Long Beach have endorsed AB1400, with many citing lack of affordable health care amid an historic pandemic as one of several reasons to pass single-payer health care. The bill would establish the CalCare Trust Fund in the State Treasury for creating cost controls and maintaining a reserve of funding for responding to health emergencies.
“Single-payer healthcare is long overdue, and while we push for Medicare for All nationally, California can lead the way by enacting CalCare,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Unanticipated medical expenses should not doom people to bankruptcy, poverty or homelessness. I am proud that the Los Angeles City Council enthusiastically endorsed AB1400, which would offer health care coverage to 3 million uninsured Californians. As we have done with the minimum wage and the fight against the climate crisis, California can lead and show what’s possible.”
“For-profit healthcare hurts all of us,” said Sacramento Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. “As a lifelong asthmatic, I have had to put critical medications on credit cards, sign up for long-term payment plans that put my ability to pay other bills into jeopardy, or go without care because I could not afford it. But this issue is bigger than my story. When our neighbors cannot access preventative care, they get sick more frequently and need more care. When they cannot afford their bills, the health systems pass those costs along to all of us. The system is simply not designed to achieve the goal of cost-effective, human-centered care.”
“In Oakland we know health disparities overwhelmingly impact our BIPOC communities in East and West Oakland,” said Oakland Councilmember Sheng Thao. “As cities across the state work to end health disparities we need California to step up and reaffirm that healthcare is a human right, that nobody should go bankrupt because they are sick, and that our health system prioritizes patients over profit. They can do this by passing AB1400 this year to expand quality, affordable healthcare to every Californian.”