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California Progressive Caucus hosts Health Care for All forum to discuss single-payer bills

Hannah Saunders | Aug 10, 2023 | State of Reform

California’s Progressive Caucus recently hosted the Healthcare is a Human Right forum to discuss Assembly Bill 1690 and Senate Bill 770, which if passed, would advance the effort to establish universal healthcare coverage in the state. 

Irene Kao, executive director of Courage California, highlighted SB 770, a unified healthcare financing bill. The bill builds on the recommendations and findings of the Healthy California for All Commission and describes desired features of a state-based healthcare financing system. 

“This bill was developed by senior peer advocates, who have worked on every single single-payer bill since 1994—and that includes CalCare—because we believe that single-payer best achieves the goal and principles outlined in the Healthy California for All Coalition.” 

— Kao

“In summary, SB 770 really just establishes tangible steps on a very concrete timeline for the Newsom administration to work with the legislature, and a full range of community stakeholders to design a unified financing system, and again, for us, that means single-payer,” Kao said. 

Single-payer advocates view SB 770 as a pathway to include CalCare, or California Guaranteed Health Care For All, into the process. Kao said it’s crucial to engage with Gov. Gavin Newsom, and to incorporate key reform organizations, labor unions, and frontline organizations from Black and Brown communities.