Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D- Lakewood) is delaying the progress of protecting and preserving the right to healthcare for all Californians. The Healthy California Act (SB 562) proposes that the state shifts to a single-payer system to provide all medically necessary care, including medical, vision, dental, hearing, and reproductive care to every Californian. The current political landscape has left us fighting to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA): the U.S. House of Representatives passed their replacement bill for the ACA on May 4, 2017, and the Senate version of the replacement bill is scheduled to be voted on after the July 4 recess. With federal uncertainty looming, it is increasingly crucial that the state of California moves forward to ensure healthcare for all.
The Healthy California Act was passed in the Senate on June 1, 2017, 23-14, led by Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). Having gained momentum and read in the Assembly for the first time on June 1st, the bill was on its way to be heard by the Assembly Rules Committee prior to the July 14 deadline. However, the bill is no longer moving forward because Assemblyman Rendon claims it is incomplete and “unable to address the realities of the Trump administration”, although he supports the concept of a single-payer system in the state of California. Many argue that the single-payer bill has been blocked with help from Democrats receiving funding from healthcare corporations and the pharmaceutical industry, further exacerbating the control that insurance companies and corporations have over our healthcare. However, Governor Brown and California State Senate Republicans agree with Assemblyman Rendon, and many Assembly Democrats are relieved, afraid of supporting a proposal lacking a strong financial structure.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I,-VT) calls on the California Assembly Speaker to let the Assembly vote on SB 562, asking California to lead the nation towards a healthier future where healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Too much is on the line if Californians lose healthcare coverage. We encourage everyone to call their state representatives and tell them you support a single-payer healthcare system for California.