Sacramento City Council Votes in Favor of Medicare for All and CalCare

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento City Council voted last night in favor of a resolution supporting federal Medicare for All legislation (H.R. 1976) and the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act (AB 1400). At the same time, San Jose passed a resolution in support of CalCare. The votes send a strong message to California’s state leaders and congressional delegation that the residents of Sacramento demand an end to our current profit-driven system and are in favor of implementing a single-payer health care system.

The need for guaranteed health care for all is more pressing than ever for Sacramento residents. Seven percent of the city’s residents, or about 30,754 residents, are uninsured, and thousands more are underinsured, meaning that their out-of-pocket costs are so high that they go without needed care. 

Prior to the council vote, members of the community shared personal health care horror stories to illustrate why a Medicare for All system is essential. 

“For-profit healthcare hurts all of us,” said Sacramento Councilmember Katie Valenzuela. “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.”

“Every day we nurses see the cost of our patients going without care or delaying care. It is critically important for people to get the care they need when they need it without barriers like copays and deductibles,” said Diane McClure, RN, a board member of the California Nurses Association and a Sacramento resident. “I have personally seen patients turned down for surgery, even when the doctor has deemed it necessary. CalCare affirms health care as a human right by establishing a single-payer health care system that meets the needs of all Californians.”

Sacramento joined a growing list of localities that are demanding an end to our broken for-profit health care system.

“As California lawmakers prepare for their next legislative session in Sacramento in January, they should take notice that the elected officials of this city have joined municipal leaders across the state — from Los Angeles to San Francisco to small towns in Humboldt County – to demand that the state legislature and governor deliver on their health care promises and enact CalCare (AB 1400),” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. 

In addition to Sacramento, Public Citizen’s resolution effort has helped more than 75 other cities and counties pass resolutions in support of Medicare for All, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Washington, DC.