Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz expresses support for single-payer system
The Los Angeles City Councilmember representing Century City and Westwood has sent a letter urging Governor Gavin Newsom to strongly consider a single-payer healthcare model for the state.
On September 23, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz (District 5 representing Century City and Westwood), Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez, Bob Blumenfield, David Ryu and Marqueece Harris-Dawson sent a letter urging California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Healthy California For All Commission to strongly consider the single-payer model for all Californians.
“Under a single-payer model, every Californian will be ensured access to healthcare. Efficiency will be maximized by limiting payment to one individual entity, rather than the numerous health insurance payers we have now,” reads the letter. “With California now the fifth largest economy in the world, and with every other major country on earth offering universal healthcare to its citizens, we are confident that California can lead the way with a single-payer system. Other states could replicate this system or it could finally advance at the Federal level.”
Los Angeles City Council has expressed interest in a single-payer healthcare system before. In 2017, Council adopted a resolution in support of SB 562, which would have established the intent of the Legislature to enact a comprehensive universal single-payer healthcare coverage program in California. In 2019, City Council adopted a resolution in favor of HR 1384, which would expand the current Medicare program to serve as a single-payer healthcare finance system at the Federal level.
According to the letter, COVID-19 has highlighted deficiencies of the current system.
“First, it has emphasized disparities in healthcare within our communities, with inadequacies bearing heavily on our communities of color. In a recent presentation to City Council, Black Lives Matter activists and The People’s Budget LA leaders noted that black Angelenos are dying from COVID-19 at rates virtually twice their population share, with black people constituting 9% of the County population, but 17% of COVID-19 deaths. The death rate in Latinos is comparably high, and our Asian American and American Indian communities have been disproportionately affected as well,” reads the letter.
In addition, the letter says that a single-payer system would aid the thousands of people out of work due to the pandemic.