THE GREAT DEBATE: SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE IN CALIFORNIA
Fed up with our dysfunctional U.S. health-care system, many Californians are calling for a state government-run health plan for all residents. Senate Bill 562, which passed in the state senate last year, puts a single-payer plan on the table. Candidates for governor—as well as clinicians, advocates and voters—are split. Everyone wants access to quality care at lower costs, but is single payer (or “Medicare for all”) the answer? Supporters point out that nearly every other developed country has some form of single payer, and all cover more citizens at lower cost than the U.S. Skeptics say that single payer would be too expensive and disruptive, as several other states have found.
Can California afford single-payer health care? Can the state afford not to have it? Dr. Paul Song, co-chair of the group behind SB562, and Micah Weinberg, who heads a think tank focused on economic and policy issues facing the Bay Area, will debate the pros and cons of SB562 specifically and single-payer health care generally.