California Select Committee begins two-day health care hearing

The Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage in California began a two-day (10/23-10/24) informational hearing this morning in Sacramento. The hearing, led by co-chairs Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula and Assemblyman Jim Wood, will cover California’s current system as well potential pathways forward in the changing landscape of Californian health care.

This hearing was announced in August by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, after he received major backlash for refusing to bring SB 562, the state’s single-payer bill, to the assembly floor. Rendon announced this committee meeting as an opportunity to discuss financing, delivery, and evaluate different types of health care models.

Day one of the hearing will cover California’s current health care system with specific focus on public programs, the individual market, employer-based coverage, and safety net programs. Speakers include Deborah Kelch, Executive Director of Insure the Uninsured Project, and Edwin Park, VP for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Day one will conclude with a presentation from Laurel Lucia, Director of the Health Care Program at UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research & Education, on the current gaps in coverage.

Day two will focus on universal coverage options and discuss how these systems are organized in other countries. Robin Osborn and Sara R. Collins of the Commonwealth Fund will lead this discussion. The second day will also leave time at the end for comments and feedback from the public.

According to a press release from Assemblymember Wood, this committee hearing is one of several that will occur this year and early next year. Future hearing topics include:

  • Health care systems within U.S. cities and states, both proposed and in operation, and the challenges they have faced in achieving health care for all
  • Input from stakeholders on proposed universal coverage systems, including but not limited to ACA expansion, single payer and hybrid systems
  • Identified challenges to achieving health care for all in California and what must be done to address them

The current hearing is taking place at the California State Capitol in room 4202. If you can’t make it in person, but would like to stay informed, a live-webcast of the hearing can be found here.