CSAC Bulletin Article

Assembly Convenes Hearings on Universal Health Care

October 26, 2017

A new select committee examining the efficacy of universal health care in California heard more than eight hours of information and testimony this week. The Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage met on Monday and Tuesday to gather information on California’s current health care delivery systems and learn about models for health care in other countries like the Netherlands and Canada.

Co-chaired by Assembly Members Jim Wood and Joaquin Arambula, the committee was formed by Assembly Speaker Rendon in response to his decision to hold SB 562 (Lara and Atkins) this session. The bill, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, sought to erect a single-payer health system in California, but did not include financing details. The select committee is tasked with examining the issue and seeking public comment, and is expected to meet for a series of hearings over the course of the fall Interim period.

Counties are a key health care safety net provider, as well as employers and administrators of health systems and Medi-Cal eligibility, and must be part of any conversation to reform or change the structure of how health care is accessed, delivered, and financed in California.

Committee members heard from more than 100 people during the public comment period, including nurses, the California Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union, CalChamber, and of course, CSAC. California has a low uninsured rate – just 7 percent, or 3 million people – 1.8 million of which are undocumented residents. Health system experts, including representatives from the Insure the Uninsured Project and the Commonwealth Project, outlined the current system and highlighted California’s success in covering more people under the Affordable Care Act. Presentations to the committee are available at this link.

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