Gavin Newsom is already moving California toward single-payer
Los Angeles Times
By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD
JAN 09, 2019 | 3:10 AM
Gavin Newsom backed an assortment of ambitious and expensive programs as he campaigned for governor, none more so than the idea of converting the state to a single-payer healthcare system. On his first day in office Monday, Newsom reaffirmed that goal, but set the state on a more measured — and far more achievable — path toward insuring all Californians.
The most dramatic step Newsom took was also the one least likely to bear fruit: He signed a letter asking the federal government’s permission to mingle federal dollars (such as funding for Medicare, Medicaid and veterans health benefits) and state funds into a single-payer system, replacing the various public and private insurance programs with one run by Sacramento. The chances of the Trump administration signing on to such a plan seem more remote than the most distant star in the Milky Way.
Healthy California Campaign Launches
Labor, Community, and Health Advocacy Organizations Launch Renewed Campaign to Win California Medicare for All
SACRAMENTO — Less than one week after the introduction of a federal Medicare For All bill in the House of Representatives, a statewide, non-partisan coalition comprised of community, consumer, labor, health, disability, LGBTQ, business, and political organizations launched the renewed and reinvigorated Healthy California campaign.
The campaign is founded on the principles that healthcare is a human right, and that publicly and equitably financed access to quality care for all residents of California is critical to our state’s social and economic well-being. It is dedicated to establishing a single-payer Medicare For All system in California as a model for an equitable U.S. healthcare system with no barriers to care.
“Every day, Californians must deal with an expensive, inefficient, healthcare system that doesn’t work,” said Healthy California Vice Chair Sal Rosselli, who is also president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers. “We’re tired of increasing costs, limited provider choices, escalating drug prices, surprise bills, and health plans that cost more and cover less. We want the peace of mind provided by guaranteed physical and mental health care we can count on wherever and whenever we need it — and we are going to win.”
California is poised to set the pace for the national Medicare for All movement. Last year, the state legislature authorized and funded the five-member Council on Health Care Delivery Systems . The council, which is awaiting appointments from Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State Senate, is charged with studying what must be done legally, financially, and administratively to build a single payer system — and to make recommendations to the legislature. Healthy California has already recommended appointments to the council and stands ready to support its work.
“Our goal is to create a ‘shovel-ready’ single-payer healthcare system that can be submitted to the federal government for approval,” said Healthy California campaign Chair Cindy Young. “It’s time to liberate California from the stranglehold of the health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, and to deliver guaranteed healthcare to all of our residents.”
Dan Geiger, Healthy California Treasurer, and Co-Director of the Business Alliance for a Healthy California, added:
“California has never been better positioned to achieve a single-payer health care system that provides access for all state residents while saving Californian businesses and residents money. The Healthy California campaign will be challenging elected officials to take a stand, to overcome the money and power of the insurance industry and the drug companies, and to deliver on the imperative of providing healthcare to all Californians as a right.”
Healthy California also supports the federal Medicare for All Act of 2019, introduced last week by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. It is already working to line up support among all 53 California members of congress to add their names to the legislation and educate their constituents about it.
# # #
Healthy California is a member-led campaign dedicated to establishing a single-payer system in California as a model for a just and equitable US healthcare system.