The Wellstone Club formed in 2003, and by early 2005 some activists decided to form a Health Care Committee to focus on local and statewide efforts to advance the cause of single payer health care. If you’re new to what that means, the simplest way to explain it is Medicare (quality, affordable, comprehensive health care) for All, regardless of age, financial, citizenship, or employment status.
In California, health care activists mounted a statewide ballot initiative in 1993 which would have set up a single health care agency to oversee a publicly-funded (through government health care dollars and payroll taxes) system for all residents. The initiative failed to pass but the campaign launched a statewide movement of single payer advocates that has grown in strength ever since.
Activists next recruited CA legislators to sponsor a bill for a Medicare for All program. The bill passed the Legislature twice, first in 2005, only to be vetoed by the governor, but the number of co-sponsors and supporters continues to increase each time it is introduced. Meanwhile, our growing movement has formed a statewide CAMPAIGN FOR A HEALTHY CALIFORNIA (CHC), working to reintroduce legislation, preparing for an eventual ballot initiative, and organizing single payer coalitions around the state. The Wellstone ClubÕs Health Care Committee is one of the founding members of the East Bay Single Payer Coalition. We lobby legislators, educate the public and recruit volunteers who share our passion and belief that health care should be considered a basic right in this country, not a privilege for those who can afford insurance.
Our committee meets most 2nd Thursdays of the month in the Grand Ave–Piedmont Ave area of Oakland, 7pm–9pm.
Nancy Friedman, Committee Chair