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Commissioner Lara voices strong support for AB 1400 to give all Californians access to quality health care

News: 2022 Press Release

For Release: January 26, 2022
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Commissioner Lara voices strong support for AB 1400 to give all Californians access to quality health care

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a letter of strong support for AB 1400, a bill by Assemblymembers Ash Kalra (D-27), Alex Lee (D-San Jose), and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) that would set in motion a new health care coverage system in California, called CalCare, for all residents.

From the Commissioner’s letter to Assemblymember Kalra:

“Despite the incredible progress we have made, the pandemic has laid bare the inequities in how Californians access health care coverage. We have paid a deadly price for the needless discrimination, complexity, and excessive costs of for-profit insurance. That is why we need to continue to fight for a single-payer plan that will protect all Californians and serve our collective public health.

“Insurance companies and health care plans are going to fight to keep their profits before all else and we need to keep fighting for people’s right to quality health care. I believe the only way to achieve ‘health care for all’ is to keep pushing for it.

“Personal health is public health. Because when the system doesn’t work, we all pay the price.

“Our current health care system is a complex, fragmented multi-payer system that still leaves wide gaps of coverage and poses significant issues of affordability. Despite health care spending in the United States far exceeding that of other high-income, industrialized countries that offer a publicly financed single-payer system, we consistently report worse health outcomes and disparities among vulnerable populations.

“I know first-hand the challenges that families face when they do not have access to quality health care. I personally know about health care being a trip to the school nurse. I know about taking home remedies because prescription drugs are too expensive. I have family members who have had to choose between paying rent or paying for a medically necessary procedure, friends who have had to choose between buying groceries or filling their prescriptions.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it.”  

The Commissioner’s letter of support can be viewed here.

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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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