Ahead of California State Assembly Hearing to Consider CalCare/AB1400 Bill, Dozens of California Local Governments Pass Resolutions of Support

Sacramento – As the California State Assembly prepares for a health committee hearing next Tuesday to consider the California Guaranteed Healthcare for All Act (AB1400), which would create a single-payer health care coverage system for all California residents, dozens of municipalities and counties across the state representing more than nine million residents have passed resolutions that officially endorse the bill.

Many of California’s largest cities – including Los Angeles, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Long Beach have endorsed AB1400, with many citing lack of affordable health care amid an historic pandemic as one of several reasons to pass single-payer health care. The bill would establish the CalCare Trust Fund in the State Treasury for creating cost controls and maintaining a reserve of funding for responding to health emergencies.

“Single-payer healthcare is long overdue, and while we push for Medicare for All nationally, California can lead the way by enacting CalCare,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Unanticipated medical expenses should not doom people to bankruptcy, poverty or homelessness. I am proud that the Los Angeles City Council enthusiastically endorsed AB1400, which would offer health care coverage to 3 million uninsured Californians. As we have done with the minimum wage and the fight against the climate crisis, California can lead and show what’s possible.”

“For-profit healthcare hurts all of us,” said Sacramento Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. “As a lifelong asthmatic, I have had to put critical medications on credit cards, sign up for long-term payment plans that put my ability to pay other bills into jeopardy, or go without care because I could not afford it. But this issue is bigger than my story. When our neighbors cannot access preventative care, they get sick more frequently and need more care. When they cannot afford their bills, the health systems pass those costs along to all of us. The system is simply not designed to achieve the goal of cost-effective, human-centered care.”

“In Oakland we know health disparities overwhelmingly impact our BIPOC communities in East and West Oakland,” said Oakland Councilmember Sheng Thao. “As cities across the state work to end health disparities we need California to step up and reaffirm that healthcare is a human right, that nobody should go bankrupt because they are sick, and that our health system prioritizes patients over profit. They can do this by passing AB1400 this year to expand quality, affordable healthcare to every Californian.”

In addition to municipalities supporting the bill, it is also backed by the California Nurses Association, Public Citizen, the California Democratic Party, the California Labor Federation, Indivisible CA: State Strong, and more than 60 other organizations.

“Not only can state leaders lead the nation on providing affordable healthcare during a pandemic, but they also have an historic opportunity to create a direct and lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of every single Californian,” says Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign.

 “Every day, we nurses see the human cost of our patients delaying care or going without care, simply because they can’t afford it,” said California Nurses Association President Cathy Kennedy, RN. “Now more than ever, as we enter the third year of a deadly pandemic, it is essential for people to get the guaranteed care they need when they need it, without barriers like copays and deductibles.  We are so proud of our grassroots campaign to pass city council resolutions in favor of CalCare. Every local resolution that is passed builds power and visibility for CalCare and affirms health care as a human right for people across California.”

“I was proud to testify alongside fellow Santa Barbara residents when our city council passed a resolution in support of AB1400 and Medicare for All,” said Ady Barkan, a Santa Barbara resident and a champion for health care as a human right whose ALS diagnosis has left him paralyzed. “Our whole society has been profoundly disrupted by the Covid pandemic because we have built a healthcare system that prioritizes profits over people, and private wealth over public health. Our state leaders must listen to our cities — large and small — who bear the brunt of our healthcare crisis and deliver guaranteed health care for all through AB1400.”

Tomorrow, hundreds of activists will gather at 15 car caravan actions around the state to publicly demonstrate and demand that the Assembly move AB 1400 this month. Included in this day of action will be a flagship car rally followed by a car caravan in Sacramento around the State Capitol beginning at 1 p.m.

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The following California municipalities have passed resolutions in support of AB1400 and a Medicare for All system, with efforts underway in many more urban and rural municipalities across the state:

City of Alameda
City of Arcata
City of Berkeley
City of Blue Lake
City of Delano
City of Emeryville
City of Eureka
City of Huntington Park
City of Long Beach
City of Los Angeles
City of Monterey
City of Oakland
City of Palm Springs
City of Petaluma
City of Richmond
City of Sacramento
City of San Jose
City of San Francisco
City of Santa Barbara
City of Santa Cruz
City of Santa Monica
City of Seaside
City of Sonoma
City of South San Francisco
City of Trinidad
County of Santa Clara