Green Party endorses SB 810, Single‑payer health care coverage for California

Reaffirming its long-standing commitment to universal, single-payer health care for all of California, the Green Party of California (GPCA) endorsed SB 810, Single-payer health care coverage on December 12th.

The GPCA first endorsed universal, single payer health care for California back in 1994, when it endorsed Proposition 186. The GPCA has consistently supported bills introduced in the state legislature to do the same since then, from earlier bills by former State Senator Sheila Kuehl (Santa Monica), to SB810, which has been introduced in 2011 by Senator Mark Leno (San Francisco).

In past years, single payer health care legislation was passed by Democratic majorities in the legislature, but vetoed by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. During his 2010 campaign, current Democratic Governor Jerry Brown was noncommittal about his support for single payer health care in California, saying he wanted to see how it would be paid for. 

"SB810 is a self-funding 'Medicare for All' type of program that works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and using it more efficiently, by cutting out the for-profit insurance company and ensuring that 95% of every health care dollar is devoted to patient care" said GPCA spokesperson Michael Feinstein. "Therefore we call upon the legislature to pass it and Governor Brown would sign it, especially since the governor campaigned in favor of single payer health care as a 1992 presidential candidate."

The GPCA's current platform on health care states:    

     "The GPCA supports a Single Payer Universal Health Care system. This means health insurance coverage for ALL through a single insurance plan offered by the government, which would control the growth of health care spending through a simplified administrative structure, consolidated financing and purchasing, and statewide health planning."

     "That system must offer a comprehensive benefit package, including complete medical, dental, mental health, pharmaceutical, chiropractic, vision, hearing, hospice, and in home care. No necessary service can be left out. If co-pays and deductibles are included to finance the system, they must be reasonable and affordable. This system should also cover long-term care and the medical component of Workers Compensation. We support state or federal efforts that would establish such a system."