CA’s Single Payer Bill: Summary of Stakeholder Views

CA’s Single Payer Bill: Summary of Stakeholder Views

As Congress contemplates federal health reform with the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), California’s state senate has proposed its own version of healthcare reform.  The Healthy California Act (“HCA”) (SB-562), as amended on April 17, 2017, would create a single payer health system called the Healthy California program.  The bill is sponsored and/or co-authored by sixteen state legislators, the California Nurses Association (“CNA”), and CNA’s parent organization, National Nurses United.

As the HCA goes through revisions, it is important for policymakers to consider the views of different stakeholders.  Below is a compilation of different stakeholders’ positions on the proposed legislation.  This list will be updated as more companies, organizations, and other entities release statements.


Quick Jump

At a Glance – Table Depicting Stakeholders’ Stances
Summary of Individual Stakeholders’ Stances

Advocacy Groups
City Governments
Health Care Providers
Key Political Figures
Insurance Companies, Industry Trade Groups, and Businesses
Other Interest Groups
Unions


At a Glance – Table Depicting Stakeholders’ Stances

 

Supports the HCA Bill – CO-SPONSORS: State Senators Toni Atkins and Ricardo Lara
– CO-AUTHORS: State Senators Cathleen Galgiani, Scott Wiener, Benjamin Allen, Mike McGuire, and Nancy Skinner; and State Assembly Members Rob Bonta, Jimmy Gomez, David Chiu, Laura Friedman, Ash Kalra, Kevin McCarty, Adrin Nazarian, Mark Stone, and Tony Thurmond.
– Berkeley City Council
– Business Alliance for a Healthy California
– California Alliance of Retired Americans
– California Federation of Teachers
– California Labor Federation
– California School Employee Association
– California Teachers Association
– Campaign for a Healthy California
– City of Los Angeles- Dave Jones (CA Insurance Commissioner)
– Health Care for All
– Healthy California
– Labor United for Universal Healthcare
– Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
– National Nurses United
– Oakland City Council- Richmond City Council
– San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Supports the Concept of the HCA Bill – California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
– Health Access California
– Bernie Sanders
– Western Center on Law and Poverty
Supports Single Payer Systems Generally (Silent on the HCA Bill) – Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Criticizes, but Neither Supports nor Opposes the HCA Bill – Gov. Jerry Brown
Opposes the Bill – Pacific Research Institute (Sally Pipes, CEO)
– California Chamber of Commerce (including Karen Sarkissian)

 


 

Summary of Individual Stakeholders’ Stances

This section details each stakeholder’s views and links to their statements on the HCA.

 


 

Advocacy Groups

 

Campaign for a Healthy California

Campaign for a Healthy California is an affiliate of Labor United for Universal Healthcare, the California Nurses Association, and many other unions and organizations.  It supports the HCA.  For more information, visit the organization’s website.

 

California Pan-Ethnic Health Network

According to the official Senate Committee on Health’s analysis of the bill, which was published online on April 24, 2017, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network supports the HCA in concept in that it supports single payer and universal coverage, but that the measure needs more work.

 

Health Access California

According to the official Senate Committee on Health’s analysis of the bill,  which was published online on April 24, 2017, Health Access California supports the HCA in concept in that it supports single payer and universal coverage, but that the measure needs more work.  Health Access California in particular notes that the bill needs further work in financing.  The organization also “raises questions about the lack of specifics or provisions that run counter to goals for a universal coverage system related to provisions in this bill regarding transition to a single payer system, system governance, whether existing consumer protections apply to the single payer system, quality improvements/delivery system reform and integrated care, purchasing for cost and quality, cost control and information technology.”

 

Health Care for All

Health Care for All is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit organization that encourages single payer systems.  This organization supports the HCA and encourages those who wish to endorse the HCA to use its templates which can be found on its website.  For more information on the organization’s stance, visit its website.

 

Healthy California

Healthy California is a coalition of organizations that support the HCA bill.  It consists of the AllCare Alliance, Campaign for a Healthy California, Labor Union United for Universal Healthcare, and Business Alliance for a Healthy California.  For more information on the organization, visit Healthy California’s website.

 

Pacific Research Institute

On April 24, 2017, Sally Pipes, CEO of Pacific Research Institute, published a statement on the organization’s website that expressed her opposition to the bill.  In her statement, she said that the “only way to ensure that Americans have access to timely, affordable, high-quality care is by creating a competitive healthcare market — not a government healthcare monopoly.” You can read her full statement here.

 

Western Center on Law and Poverty

According to the official Senate Committee on Health’s analysis of the bill,  which was published online on April 24, 2017, the Western Center on Law and Poverty supports the HCA in concept in that it supports single payer and universal coverage, but that the measure needs more work.

 


 

City Governments

 

The City of Los Angeles

According to a press release from National Nurses United, during the week of April 16-22, Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote a letter to the Senate Health Committee stating that the City of Los Angeles would support the HCA.  In his letter, Mayor Garcetti explained that Los Angeles “recognizes the importance of developing a health care system that protects and promotes health to strengthen our communities and close the gap on health disparities.”

 

Oakland City Council

According to a press release from National Nurses United, on April 18, 2017, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to support SB-562.  According to councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, the resolution’s sponsor, “universal health care is vital to ensuring everyone has health care and a single payer system will keep costs down.”

 

Richmond City Council

According to a press release from National Nurses United, on April 18, 2017, the Richmond City Council voted unanimously to support SB-562.  According to councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, the resolution’s sponsor of the bill at the city level, “19.4% of Richmond residents have no health care, and for many more the cost of care, even with insurance, is a serious strain…. Single payer is long overdue and hopefully on its way in California.”

 

San Francisco Board of Supervisors

On April 11, 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support SB-562.  For more information, read the summary of the vote on the Healthy California website.

 


 

Health Care Providers

 

National Nurses United (Including the California Nurses Association)

National Nurses United is “the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history,” and consists of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association.  On February 20, 2017, the organization announced a celebration rally for the introduction of SB-562.  In this statement, the union expressed its support for the bill and explained that it was one of the co-sponsors of the bill.  Visit the National Nurses United’s website for its full statement.

 


 

Key Political Figures

 

Co-Sponsors of the Bill

State Senators Toni Atkins and Ricardo Lara introduced the bill to the California Senate on February 17, 2017.  As such, they support the bill.

 

Co-Authors of the Bill

The principal co-authors of SB-562 are State Senators Cathleen Galgiani and Scott Wiener and State Assembly Members Rob Bonta and Jimmy Gomez.  Other co-authors include State Senators Benjamin Allen, Mike McGuire, and Nancy Skinner, and State Assembly Members David Chiu, Laura Friedman, Ash Kalra, Kevin McCarty, Adrin Nazarian, Mark Stone, and Tony Thurmond.  As such, they support the bill.

 

Jerry Brown, Governor

According to an article published by the Sacramento Bee, on March 22, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown made a speech in which he criticizes, but does not directly support or oppose the HCA.  In his statement, he asked “Where do you get the extra money?  This is the whole question. I don’t even get … how do you do that?”  For the full story, read the Sacramento Bee’s article.

 

Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner (Running for California Attorney General in 2018)

On March 8, 2017, the Sacramento Bee published an article detailing Dave Jones’s position.  He explained that he supports the HCA, saying that “a single-payer approach would be more efficient, would cover more people and do so in a way that would overall reduce costs.”  In his interview with the Sacramento Bee, he further explained that the American Health Care Act would only serve to dismantle the healthcare industry and that the Affordable Care Act is “a Republican idea.”  To view portions of Jones’s interview, read the article from the Sacramento Bee.

 

Senator Bernie Sanders (Former Presidential Candidate)

On May 6, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders gave a speech in Beverly Hills saying that he supported the concept of the HCA.  He urged California to adopt SB-562 to send a message to the rest of the country.  However, he did not go into detail about the logistics of the bill.  Senator Sanders is a proponent of a national single payer healthcare system and has proposed his own “Medicare for All” model.  To view Sanders’s statement, read the article from the Sacramento Bee.

 

Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor (Running for Governor in 2018)

On March 13, 2017, the Sacramento Bee published an article that explained that Newsom was going to run his campaign on yet-to-be-released universal healthcare plan.  Though he has been silent on the HCA, Newsom is a proponent of a single payer system in general.  In his interview with the Sacramento Bee, he explained that he will be working alongside Mitch Katz, an architect of the Healthy San Francisco pseudo-single payer system.  Newsom explained that he believed “what we did in San Francisco can and should be replicated far and wide.”

 

Furthermore, the California Nurses Association has announced its support for Newsom in the 2018 gubernatorial race.  The California Nurses Association is a co-sponsor of the HCA and supports the bill.

 

To view portions of Newsom’s interview, read the article from the Sacramento Bee.

 


 

Insurance Companies, Industry Trade Groups, and Businesses

 

Business Alliance for a Healthy California

Business Alliance for a Healthy California is an organization that supports the HCA.  It lists business endorsers on its website and donates money to the campaign.  For more information, visit the Business Alliance for a Healthy California website.

 


 

Other Interest Groups

 

 

California Chamber of Commerce (including Karen Sarkissian)

The California Chamber of Commerce, an advocate for employers and businesses in California, has come out in opposition to the bill. The group has listed SB 562 as a “job killer” piece of legislation. Furthermore, when the Senate passed the bill, it argued that SB 562 would “penalize responsible employers and individuals and result in significant new taxes on all Californians and California businesses.” At the suggestion of imposing a 15% income tax on all Californians, Karen Sarkissian, a policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, said that the tax was a “job killer.” You can read the Chamber of Commerce’s full statement here.

 


 

Unions

 

National Nurses United (Including the California Nurses Association)

National Nurses United is “the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history,” and consists of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association.  On February 20, 2017, the organization announced a celebration rally for the introduction of SB-562.  In this statement, the union expressed its support for the bill and explained that it was one of the co-sponsors of the bill.  Visit the National Nurses United’s website for its full statement.