CALIFORNIA SINGLE PAYER MOVEMENT HISTORY
In 1994, following the defeat of Prop.186, a single-payer ballot initiative, activists met and agreed to create a “dedicated single-payer organization.”
In 1996 Health Care for All-California (HCA-CA) was established and chapters were formed across the State.
This movement led to introduction of a single-payer bill, which failed to pass.
In 1999, SB 480, a state-sponsored study of ways to achieve universal health care, passed the legislature and was signed by Gov. Gray Davis. Also, HCA-CA launched its website (healthcareforall.org).
In 2000, California received federal funding ($1.2 million) for a Health Care Options Project. Three single payer and six incremental proposals were analyzed.
In 2002, the analysts concluded that the single-payer plans were the most cost-efficient, while providing universal coverage with the best benefits and the highest health quality outcomes. Here are links to the report on the nine HCOP proposals, the Lewin Group analysis, and the AZA Consulting analysis.
Subsequent to that time, after the failure of SB 921, single-payer legislation, SB 840 passed the legislature in 2006 and 2008, only to be vetoed both times by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, subsequent bills have not passed – Sen. Mark Leno’s SB 810 (2009, 2011); Sen. Lara Sen. Toni Atkins’ SB 562 (2017).
In February of 2021, AB1400 (aka CalCare) was introduced by Assembly member Ash Kalra. Based on concerns raised by assembly members over the absence of details about funding, April 21 Kalra placed AB 1400 on hold. On January 6, 2022, Kalra, reintroduce AB 1400, and propose AC 11, a constitutional amendment as a means to finance AB 1400. On January 31, the last day the bill could be voted on the Assembly floor, Kalra pulled AB 1400.
For more information, read the “History of California Single Payer Legislation: 1997-2020“. This is a comprehensive illustrated history of the grassroots movement to enact a single-payer bill in California, prepared by Dan Hodges.
HC4US advocates for comprehensive, high-quality universal health care through single-payer public financing. Our goal is to guarantee health care as a human right for ALL California residents, advancing the larger fight for health care justice and energizing the implementation of national Single Payer/Medicare for All.