Greens call out Democratic Party for once again killing California’s hopes for single-payer healthcare

FOR RELEASE: February 3, 2022

Greens call out Democratic Party for once again killing California’s hopes for single-payer healthcare.

SACRAMENTO, CA – February 3, 2022 — Despite the Democratic Party’s super-majorities in both houses of the legislature, CalCare (AB 1400), the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, was pulled on Monday, January 31, just before the Assembly floor vote, by its primary author, Assemblymember Ash Kalra.

He cited the need to gather more support from Democratic Assemblymembers as the reason, but his action denied voters the opportunity to learn where their representatives stand on the bill.

The fact that the majority of California Democratic Assemblymembers do not support a single-payer system when the vast majority of their constituents do is inexcusable.

A poll [1] by Physicians for a National Health Program on Medicare for All healthcare conducted during last fall’s attempted recall of Governor Newsom showed that 60% of voters – and 86% of Democratic-leaning base voters – supported a state Medicare for All healthcare system in California.

“Not only would I sign AB 1400 if it came to my desk, but I would use my influence with the California legislature to pass it in the first place. We must fix democracy if we want universal health care for the people,” said Luis Rodriguez, Green candidate for Governor.

California Greens have had single-payer healthcare in their platform [2] since their formation in the early 90’s. Greens assert – along with California Nurses Association [3] and many grassroots organizations – that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege, and that it is cost-effective.

“Follow the money! Many studies, including an analysis [4] from the University of California, San Francisco, have shown that single-payer healthcare would not only save lives — an excellent goal — but it would also save money,” said Laura Wells, Green candidate for State Controller.

During his 2018 campaign, Gavin Newsom signaled his strong support for single-payer [5]. Since then he has received massive donations from its opponents, among them the healthcare insurance industry [6].

“Why is the Democratic Party refusing to hear and serve Californians? Because Democratic elected officials pass legislation to benefit their donors, not their constituents,” said Barry Hermanson, a long-time Green and healthcare advocate in San Francisco. “California Democratic Party elected leaders, and in particular Governor Gavin Newsom, are putting profits before people’s lives,” he added.

The Democrats have no excuse for failing to pass CalCare [7]. Since 2018 the Democrats have had a veto-proof supermajority in the California legislature [8]. For 50 out of 52 years they have controlled the California House and Senate [9]. As the largest progressive state in the country, California could be the leader in passing transformative and much needed healthcare reforms.
“Given a pandemic, a budget surplus in the state, a 10-year super-majority in both houses of the legislature, and an upcoming primary election in June, many of us thought that maybe this time the Democratic Party would come through, but wrong again!!” said Wells.

“This fiasco helped me understand why people hang onto hope that the Democratic Party will act. Even I had hope for it this time, and I’m a Green who has witnessed 30 years of the failures of Democratic politicians. Elect Greens and Peace and Freedom candidates who never take corporate money,” Wells added.

REFERENCES:
[1] https://pnhp.org/news/sustained-robust-support-for-single-payer-in-calif…
[2] https://www.cagreens.org/platform/health-care
[3] https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/nurses-condemn-california-ass…
[4] https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/01/416416/single-payer-systems-likely-sav…
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YuReziwss0
[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBB36JIktas
[7] https://laurawells.org/no-excuses-especially-for-trifecta-states/
[8] https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/416351-dems-gain-veto-proof-sup…
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Legislature

Contact: Laura Wells, 510-504-4254, lwells@cagreens.org
Barry Hermanson, 415-255-9494, barry@hermansons.com
Green Party of California, 916-448-3437, gpca@cagreens.org

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