Governor Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Atkins, adopted a budget that created the Healthy California For All Commission (HCFC), a group of appointed health experts in business, philanthropy, academia and labor.
As provided in the California 2019-2020 State Budget, the Healthy California for All Commission will serve to; “Develop a plan that includes options for advancing progress toward achieving a health care delivery system in California that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system, including, but not limited to, a single-payer financing system, for all Californians.”
The Commission first met in January 2020, but the scheduled second meeting was postponed during the shelter-in-place of the pandemic. While California policymakers and many parts of our health system have responded heroically to the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has further exposed the various gaps and issues in our health care system—problems that always existed but that our health system was particularly ill-suited to address, and making the case for broad structural changes to our health system.
This has provided a new surge of interest about whether we are closer to the goal of Medicare for All or other structural reforms to our health system. While Health Access has long supported single-payer and other reforms, this moment may have shifted both public focus and opinion, and the thoughts of those who have traditionally opposed broad health reforms. In this context, the Healthy California For All Commission has restarted.
The Healthy California for All Commission met for the second time on June 2020 to review the first of two reports required of the commission—and to discuss what steps to take in light of the pandemic.
- An Environmental Analysis of Health Care Delivery, Coverage, and Financing in California – first report which includes both an “environmental assessment” and steps to transition into a unified financing and possible coverage expansions.
- Health Access Draft Comments to HCFA’s First Report 6-16-20
The commission has 13 voting members including Secretary of California Health and Human Services, Secretary Ghaly as chair and eight gubernatorial appointees and four legislative appointees. There are also five ex-officio, non-voting members.
- Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH. Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
- Carmen Comsti, JD. Regulatory policy specialist at National Nurses United
- Jennie Chin Hansen, RN. Independent consultant at Hirsch and Associates, LLC
- Sandra R. Hernández, MD. President and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation
- William C. Hsiao, PhD. Research professor of economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Rupa Marya, MD. Associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
- Robert K. Ross, MD. President and CEO of The California Endowment
- Richard M. Scheffler, PhD. Distinguished professor of health economics and public policy at the School of Public Health and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley
- Andy Schneider, JD. Research professor of the practice at the Center for Children and Families in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University
- Sara Flocks, MPA. (Senate) Policy coordinator at the California Labor Federation
- Janice Rocco. (Senate) Deputy commissioner for health policy reform at the California Department of Insurance
- Antonia Hernández, JD. (Assembly) President and CEO of the California Community Foundation
- Anthony E Wright. (Assembly) Executive director of Health Access California
Ex Officio Members
- Will Lightbourne. Director of the California Department of Health Care Services
- Peter V. Lee, JD. Executive director of Covered California
- Donald B. Moulds, PhD. Chief health director of CalPERS
- Richard Pan, MD, MPH. State Senator representing California’s 6th Senate district, chair of the Senate Committee on Health
- Jim Wood, DDS. Assemblymember representing California’s 2nd Assembly District, chair of the Assembly Health Committee
Health Access California
California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon appointed prominent patient advocate Anthony Wright to the Healthy California for All Commission:
“Anthony brings to the Healthy California for All Commission a proven track record of making health care more affordable, transparent, and accessible,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “His dedication and institutional knowledge are a huge benefit to the people of California. I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the Commission.”
“I’m honored and excited to be part of the process to plan and achieve universal health coverage in California,” said Anthony Wright. “Our state has already been a leader in countering federal attacks to our care while implementing and improving on the Affordable Care Act, including recent first-in-the-nation investments in affordability in the individual market and expansions of Medi-Cal to more Californians regardless of immigration status. While we continue to provide real relief for Californians, this Commission will give us the opportunity to think bigger and bolder about how to make a more affordable, accountable, and universal health care system, and prepare our state to take action when we have more willing federal partners.”
We encourage you to visit the Healthy California For All Commission website, register for meetings, and you’re your support for health care via public comment! You can contact your state representatives and urge them to endorse our efforts.
Thank you for your continued support and advocacy!
- Healthy California for All Commission
- Healthy California For All: An Environmental Analysis of Health Care Delivery, Coverage, and Financing in California
- Health Care Options Project
- HCFC is not the first official state effort to study and explore health reforms. In 2002, the Health Care Options Project created by then Senator Hilda Solis, was tasked with reviewing health reform proposals. This led to multiple legislative efforts, including SB 921, a single payer bill by Senator Sheila Kuehl, and SB 2, a pay-or-play bill by Senate President Pro Tem John Burton. Health Access actively participated in the Health Care Options Project, and host the archives of that project here.