Let’s start with the basics: what is single-payer healthcare, and why is it beneficial to the typical, working Californian?

Michael Lighty: When we say “single payer” we mean a Medicare for All-style program that replaces co-pays, deductibles, and all individual costs with a publicly financed system that provides every Californian healthcare as a human right. We’re not just talking about “access” to healthcare, which means “access if you can afford it.” We mean everybody. 

The “single payer” is us, we’re all in it together. Right now we pay all our money to middle-men insurers, who make money by denying care. In a single-payer system, the medical decisions get made by patients, families and medical professionals. It puts doctors and nurses in charge of our care, and frees healthcare workers to actually provide care instead of dealing with insurance company bureaucracy. 

The benefits of a single-payer system to working people are unquestionable. Single payer means more freedom: freedom to change jobs, freedom to get healthcare even if you lose your job, freedom from your boss. It also frees up money from employers that can go to higher wages, pensions, increased staffing, more vacation. Really it’s all upside for working people […] 

Read more on eastbaymajority.org written by Shane Ruiz and published January 2, 2021.