Assembly Select Committee Holds First Hearings on Universal Coverage

The Assembly Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage held two informational hearings this week to examine current health care systems in California and other countries. The hearings featured detailed presentations about public programs, the individual market, employer-based coverage, safety net programs, and universal systems being utilized in countries throughout the world. Presenters included Deborah Kelch and Elia Gallardo with the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), Edwin Park with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Ken Jacobs and Laurel Lucia of the UC Berkley Center for Labor Research & Education, and Robin Osborn and Sara Collins with The Commonwealth Fund.

Led by Assembly Member Co-Chairs Jim Wood and Joaquin Arambula, the committee used the informational hearings to begin exploring how to increase coverage and access to health care in California. Several members discussed during the hearing the need to focus on preventive services and public health as part of the broader health systems delivery reforms. Notably, however, the hearings were only attended by Democratic Assembly Members. Materials from the two hearings are available here. The committee is expected to hold additional hearings on similar topics in the coming weeks and months.