“The fastest, most direct path to Medicare for All has always required Governor leadership. Now is the time for advocates to unite and tell Gov. Newsom to lead the way on Medicare for All.” — Cindy Young, President, Healthy California Now

Healthy California Now, California’s leading coalition of advocates for a state single-payer, Medicare for All healthcare system, is urging single-payer advocates to call on Gov. Newsom to take the lead in making California the nation’s first Medicare for All state.

With Thursday’s announcement that Assemblymember Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, is shelving his single-payer bill (AB 1400), there is a golden opportunity for single-payer advocates to unite behind a faster path to Medicare For All, led by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Leadership from the Governor has always been the critical missing piece in establishing a single-payer system that would eliminate insurance co-pays and deductibles and provide all Californians with health care as a human right,” said Cindy Young, President of Healthy California Now.

Young added: “The fastest track to achieve Medicare for All is for Gov. Newsom to start working with the Biden administration right now to develop a detailed Medicare for All plan and win permission to fund it with federal dollars. Once that is done, he should work with state legislators to pass it into law.”

There is recent precedent for this approach. On his first day in office, Gov. Newsom wrote to then President Trump asking him to “empower States like mine to design and implement truly transformative solutions for securing affordable health care for all.” With Xavier Becerra, California’s former attorney general and a single-payer supporter, now Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, it’s time for the governor to renew that request.

Gov. Newsom and Secretary Becerra have the authority to initiate discussions on waivers to repurpose federal health dollars for a new California Medicare for All system. Newsom also has the authority to focus the work of the Healthy California Commission, which is tasked with laying the groundwork for Medicare for All in the state, to initiate a public process involving all stakeholders to flesh out the details for creating and financing a Medicare for All system that best meets the needs of all Californians.

“The fastest, most direct path for Californians to win Medicare for All has always gone through the Governor,” Young said. “Now is the time for single-payer health care advocates to unite and tell Gov. Newsom we need him to lead the way on Medicare for All.”


Healthy California Now is a statewide, non-partisan coalition of community, consumer, labor, health, disability, LGBTQ, business, and political organizations committed to building and broadening the movement to guarantee health care for all Californians.



Contact: Michael Lighty, 510-772-8384, mlightly200@gmail.com