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Assemblymember Ash Kalra Releases Statement on CalCare

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Assembly Committee on Appropriations held Assembly Bill (AB) 2200, the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, in its committee. Assemblymember Kalra releases the following statement:


“I am deeply disappointed the Assembly Appropriations Committee failed to recognize the significant cost-saving potential of AB 2200. Study after study has shown that a single-payer system will not only cost less than our current system, but can safeguard the State from future deficits while stimulating economic growth.


After two years of productive meetings with members, I looked forward to presenting the bill on the Assembly Floor and was confident it would pass. Losing the opportunity to advance the bill this year means further unnecessary delays in healthcare reform, allowing needless suffering and economic injustice to continue harming Californians. I believe healthcare is a human right and I am as dedicated as ever to the movement for single-payer.   


The momentum this year would not have been possible without the California Nurses Association and the broad support coalition that has championed this bill tirelessly. While AB 2200 will not move forward, we must remain committed to advocating for a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for all.”


AB 2200 would enact a comprehensive framework of governance, benefits, program standards, and health care cost controls for a single-payer health care coverage system in California. Also known as CalCare, passing this policy framework would have allowed California to begin consolidating existing health care programs, obtaining necessary federal waivers, and determining public financing.


The Healthy California for All Commission found that under a single-payer model, with no cost sharing for patients and long-term care for all, California would save between $32 billion to $213 billion over 10 years compared to our current system. Of those savings, the Commission estimated that California would pay about $42 billion less in administrative costs each year. Under CalCare, these saving would be redirected to patients to provide comprehensive benefits and expand coverage to all Californians.


Despite spending more money on health care than any other country, our country ranks near the bottom on many international health indicators, including on such critical barometers as average life expectancy, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and death from preventable diseases. By enacting CalCare, profit motives and financial incentives would no longer determine care. The necessary and appropriate care for each patient would be determined by the patient’s treating health care professional and would be covered under the program. CalCare puts care decisions into the hands of patients and their doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals as opposed to insurance companies and corporate boardrooms.


CalCare would not have gone into effect until fully funded, which would not occur until sufficient funding is secured through a combination of consolidating federal funding and passage of future financing legislation. Once implemented, a single-payer health care system is the best long-term investment that California can make to protect the state from future deficits.




Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Local Government, and Natural Resources committees.