New Academic Report from CA Assembly Universal Coverage Hearings Details Immediate Options for Progress

Health and consumer advocates urged action by the California legislature to expand coverage options and improve affordability among the options put forth by the academic report coming out of the series of hearings by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage.
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For immediate release: Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

For more information, contact:

Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell) or Mike Roth, 916-444-7170

REPORT FROM ASSEMBLY HEARINGS ON UNIVERSAL COVERAGE

DETAILS MUCH CALIFORNIA CAN DO, EVEN WITHOUT FEDERAL APPROVAL

* Assembly Select Committee on Universal Health Care Held Substantive Hearings With Expert Testimony, Learning Lessons From Other Countries and States, Issues and Obstacles To Address, and Ways To Improve the Health System

* Report Spotlights Several Options to Move Forward, Even Without Federal Permissions and Partnerships in the Near Future

* Health Advocates Argue That Despite Real Federal Barriers Identified, California Can and Should Advance Proposals to Universal Coverage That Do Not Require Federal Approval–While We Continue To Organize For Even Broader Reforms for the Future.

SACRAMENTO, CA—Health and consumer advocates urged action by the California legislature to expand coverage options and improve affordability among the options put forth by the academic report coming out of the series of hearings by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage. The Select Committee considered a variety of expert testimony that explored federal and other obstacles to state efforts to ensure quality, affordable coverage for all Californians. Here is a comment on the report and hearings from Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

“The Assembly hearings on universal coverage were a substantive and enlightening review of both the problems in our health system and many potential solutions. While the hearings  did tease out the obstacles to some types of reform–most notably the lack of a friendly federal partner over the next several years–what’s most important is detailing a number of actions California can take now to expand coverage to those left uninsured or underinsured as outlined in this new report. California can and should seize the moment to take significant, pro-active steps to expand coverage and improve affordability for consumer, in ways that do not run into federal obstacles.”

“Addressing the real needs of patients and the public is not just possible, but urgently needed now. California can secure coverage for all, by opening up Medi-Cal regardless of immigration status and improving affordability assistance in Covered California–neither of which need federal approval.”

“While we have long supported the vision of a Medicare-for-all type health care system, California should not wait three or more years for a friendly federal partner, but take the steps available now to secure coverage and address urgent issues of cost, quality, and equity in our health system. 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, our state can and should build on our progress, and take additional steps to improve access and affordability for all Californians.”

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