LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council today passed a nonbinding resolution in support of CalCare, a state-based single-payer program that would guarantee comprehensive health care services to all California residents. The vote sends a strong message to California’s state government that Angelenos are demanding an end to for-profit health care in favor of a universal system without copays or out-of-pocket costs.
“We applaud the Los Angeles City Council for standing with all Californians in supporting guaranteed affordable health care for all,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All program. “California is the largest state in the union, and its leadership on single-payer health care will help pave the way for a national health care system that prioritizes health over profits.” Public Citizen, the California Nurses Association, the Democratic Socialists of America and other allied organizations have been supporting local activists in their push in passing these single-payer resolutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed our broken health care system that left millions of Californians without affordable health coverage when they needed it most. The UC Berkeley Labor Center estimates that 3.2 million Californians will be uninsured next year. CalCare would ensure every California resident has access to the care they need by making private health insurance obsolete and eliminating costly premiums, copays and deductibles.
“Single-payer healthcare is long overdue, and while we push for Medicare for All nationally, California can lead the way by enacting CalCare,” said 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.”
“I am proud to have seconded this resolution today” said Councilmember Nithya Raman. “CalCare has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in our state and ensure that we are taking care of everyone who calls California home. As California goes, so goes the nation – let’s pave the path forward for guaranteeing healthcare for all”.
“Having passed single-payer out of the state senate, as former Senate Leader, I know the legislative urgency of this matter firsthand,” said Councilmember Kevin de León. “The constituents in my district, mostly working-class families of color and frontline workers, remind us of why we need a healthcare system that leaves no one behind. The ongoing pandemic has underscored how the lack of coverage can decimate entire communities. Simply put, we’ve been paying single-payer prices for substandard healthcare and our communities deserve better.”
The City Council’s vote today in support of CalCare follows the Council’s previous official endorsement of a national Medicare for All system in November 2019. More than 70 cities, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles and New Orleans have passed similar resolutions in support of a national single-payer health care system, and other California municipalities, including San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Barbara and more have passed resolutions in support of CalCare over the past two years.