California Single-Payer Bill Introduced

For Immediate Release Contact: Beth Capell

California Physicians Alliance Supports SB921 (Kuehl)

Health Care for Every Californian

Today, James G. Kahn, M.D., M.P.H., author of one of the nine Health Care Option Papers, and treasurer of the California Physicians Alliance joined Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), other legislators and representatives of other organizations in announcing their support for SB921 by Senator Kuehl.

"In a time of skyrocketing health care costs when millions of Californians lack health coverage, SB921 would cuts costs by reducing administrative waste and refocusing health spending on health care, not overhead," said Jim Kahn.

SB921 would provide health coverage to every Californian---every Californian would have the health care they need when they need it---whether their employer offered health coverage or not, whether they were between jobs or not, whether they were a young person just starting out, or somebody in their 50's forced into early retirement.

SB921 creates a system of public financing of health care, similar to that used for Medicare. An independent analysis of the research by Kahn et al demonstrated that employers who do the right thing and buy health insurance now would save money under this system. So would most Californians.

As for Medicare and unemployment insurance, employers would pay a tax to cover the cost of health care. Employees would also make a contribution. SB921 also includes increased taxes on alcohol and tobacco to supplement the payroll taxes and employee contributions.

SB921 takes some of the best aspects of HMO reform and applies them to the entire health system: putting the doctor in charge of health care, evaluating whether care is medically appropriate, assuring that consumers have a voice in the health care system.

The California Physicians Alliance is a non-profit, public interest group of physicians and other health activists committed to universal access to quality, affordable health care for all Californians. CaPA was instrumental in creating HMO reforms enacted in California in 1999.

The full text of the bill is available here: