Assembly Universal Health Coverage Hearings Welcomed by Health & Consumer Advocates

Health and consumer advocates expressed excitement for hearings starting today by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage, which will explore next steps in the state's efforts to ensure quality, affordable coverage for all Californians.
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For immediate release: Monday, October 23, 2017

For more information, contact:
Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell)
Rachel Linn Gish, communications director, Health Access California, 916-532-2128 (cell)

ASSEMBLY HEARINGS TO GETTING TO UNIVERSAL COVERAGE IN CALIFORNIA WELCOMED

  • Assembly Select Committee on Universal Health Care Starts Promising Process on Taking Steps Towards #Health4All
  • By Implementing and Improving on the #ACA, California Saw Largest Drop of Uninsured in Nation, Down to 7% Uninsured
  • Despite Federal Threats, California Can and Should Explore Potential Paths to Universal Coverage

SACRAMENTO, CA: Health and consumer advocates expressed excitement for hearings starting today by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage, which will explore next steps in the state’s efforts to ensure quality, affordable coverage for all Californians. The hearings, which begin today and tomorrow but go on through the fall, restart an important conversation about needed reforms to our health care system.

Here is a comment on the hearings from Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

The contrast between the U.S. Congress and California could not be clearer. While Congress considers proposals to cut and cap key health care programs, California is correctly comparing options to further expand and secure coverage for all. By implementing and improving upon the Affordable Care Act, California has seen the greatest drop in the uninsured of all fifty states. If we can keep Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA intact from federal cuts and caps, California can and should build on our progress, and take additional steps to improve access and affordability for all our residents.

“It’s not enough to be for universal coverage, in any of its many forms from across the globe. In order to move forward we need legislative and public support for both the broad goal of coverage for all, but also on concrete steps forward. We hope the Assembly Committee begins to provide the necessary details to all possible paths to health for everyone. California has never been so close to this goal, despite the massive threat from efforts to repeal and replace the ACA and Medicaid. If we are able to preserve the progress we’ve made, that progress becomes a powerful platform for movement forward in the next year and beyond.”

“We are encouraged by the Assembly’s actions to explore what potential progress can be made, even in this hostile federal government environment. California has a long tradition of having multiple health reform proposals on universal coverage pending at the same time, on different timelines and trajectories from single-payer to employer mandates, from insurance reforms to public program expansions and proposals that combine elements of each. We are proud of the steps California has already taken, implementing and improving upon the ACA, to get comprehensive health coverage for 93% of Californians. We were heartened that there was so much legislative support to expand Medi-Cal to all income-eligible children, regardless of immigration status, and to take another step to cover undocumented young adults up to age 26 as well. The campaign to win Medicare for All this year restarted a welcome conversation about how to get to a universal, simpler, more efficient, and less profit-focused health system. We hope the Assembly Select Committee and Legislature considers all these efforts as complementary tracks with different timetables, different policy implications and different funding needs, but all with the goal of providing a guarantee of health security to all Californians.”

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