For Immediate Release
March 12, 2018
Los Angeles — Today, the University of California San Francisco release their report “A Path to Universal Coverage and Unified Health Care Financing in California,” which was commissioned by the California State Assembly.
“The Select Committee’s report amply supports that the approach I have consistently advocated for is on the right path to achieving universal health care.
With this Republican Congress eliminating the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2019, the report recommends that California implement an insurance requirement to make sure we create large and robust risk pools in order to lower premium and health care costs.
Moreover, as I’ve previously said, the report recommends increasing competition by offering a ‘public option’—perhaps by allowing individuals to buy into Medi-Cal. Lastly, consistent with my focus on workforce development, the report recommends increased training and development of the health care workforce, especially primary care workers, with a focus on rural areas.
Bottom line – this is a welcome addition to the conversation about creating universal healthcare in California. This report offers a comprehensive, data-driven approach that is both ambitious and attainable.
We need to, and the report outlines the ways in which we can, work towards universal, quality and more affordable healthcare by building on the progress we have already made through the creation of the Healthy Families program, the ACA and others.
I applaud Speaker Anthony Rendon and the co- chairs of the Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage, Assemblymembers Jim Wood, DDS (D- Healdsburg), and Joaquin Arambula, MD (D- Fresno).
This report stands in stark contrast to Gavin Newsom and those who argue that SB562 would solve the healthcare issue. SB562 is a political platitude that calls for a $200 billion tax increase and the elimination of Medicare as we know it.
Providing a roadmap for improving both quality and access in the short-term, while outlining key issues for more transformative change demonstrates that only critical and thoughtful analysis can lead to the change we want — not slogans or bumper stickers.
We also can’t forget that the best way to expand access to healthcare is by creating high- wage jobs that provide decent and affordable healthcare benefits. Growing our economy grows the ranks of the insured, and the tax revenue that is generated by a stronger economy allows us to fund the expansion of health coverage.”
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
By George Skelton
Antonio Villaraigosa thinks he has a solid weapon to hammer Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom with as they run for governor. And he probably does.
It’s Newsom’s strong support for creating a state-run, single-payer health insurance program.
That may sound too wonky and eye-glazing for use as campaign ammunition. But it could get attention if more voters learn that the current single-payer bill pending in the Legislature would require a dramatic doubling of state taxes plus Sacramento taking over popular federal Medicare.
It also would necessitate the Trump administration and the Republican Congress cooperating with this state’s liberal leadership. The feds would need to turn over to the state all the Medicare and Medicaid money it spends in California — about $150 billion annually. Fat chance.
In all, a state-operated, single-payer healthcare plan would cost around $400 billion a year, according to objective analysis. Let’s put that in perspective: Gov. Jerry Brown’s total state spending proposal for the next fiscal year is less than half that amount — $190 billion.
So fiscally and politically, the notion of a state single-payer system is a pipe dream.
“They’re selling snake oil,” says Villaraigosa, a former Los Angeles mayor and state Assembly speaker.
Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor, calls Villaraigosa a “defeatist” who lacks political courage and bold leadership. On his campaign website, Newsom promises to “lead the way on a plan to guarantee quality healthcare for everyone financed through a single-payer model like Medicare.”
“Medicare-for-all” is a cause championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It’s also a holy grail for the politically aggressive California Nurses Assn., which has endorsed Newsom.
Nationally, covering all Americans under Medicare while allowing them to buy supplemental private insurance probably makes sense. But that’s not what is being proposed in California, principally by the nurse’s union.
In fact, the legislation would eliminate Medicare for 6 million senior citizens and place them in a new state plan that covers every California resident. There’d be just one single payer for all healthcare: the state government.
Look, federal Medicare works pretty well. We don’t hear many complaints from beneficiaries. Why would anyone covered by it want the program handed over to Sacramento? And I can’t imagine the federal government agreeing to it.
Villaraigosa challenged Newsom last week to a one-on-one debate over state-run, single-payer healthcare. It’s the issue that provokes the sharpest clash between the two Democratic front-runners to replace the termed-out Brown.
We should be thankful. This is about important substance, not platitudinous fluff. And it might instruct us about how a candidate would govern — not only on this issue, but generally.
More from George Skelton »
Villaraigosa is positioning himself in the race as a center-left moderate and emphasizing that the former San Francisco mayor is, well, a San Francisco liberal.
“Enough with the slogans,” Villaraigosa said. “It’s time to… have a serious in-depth discussion.”
The odds on Newsom agreeing to a debate are practically zilch. But he should. Healthcare is a topic worthy of a separate debate, not just relegated to a one-minute answer in a typical campaign forum. And, of course, the other candidates should be invited too.
Frankly, it’s hard to tell where state Treasurer John Chiang stands on the single-payer bill. The Democrat says he’s for the concept but is leery of the specific legislation. Democrat Delaine Eastin, a former state schools chief, is adamantly for the measure.
At issue is the bill, SB 562, that passed the Senate last year and soon was shelved by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). “Woefully incomplete,” the speaker said. The nurses’ union started trying to recall him but didn’t get far.
“Incomplete” was an understatement. The measure didn’t have a financing plan, healthcare delivery details or cost controls. But it envisioned medical coverage for everyone, including immigrant adults in the country illegally. There’d be no co-payments or deductibles.
Coverage of California politics »
It was one of the most irresponsible major bills to pass a house of the California Legislature in decades.
Most Senate Democrats voted for the bill. Four did not. All Republicans were opposed.
The measure was written by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who’s running for state insurance commissioner with the nurses’ backing, and incoming Senate leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). Atkins acknowledged recently that the bill is unlikely to be passed this year in the Assembly. It’s an election year, after all, and this bill is politically risky.
Studies by the Senate Appropriations Committee and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office pegged the annual cost at $400 billion.
Currently, various governments kick in around $200 billion annually for healthcare in California. Of that, the feds spend $150 billion. If all that could be corralled into one Sacramento pot — extremely unlikely — the state would still need to raise another $200 billion.
Private employers could be taxed. They’d no longer have to provide workers with medical insurance. But the state still would need to raise an additional $100 billion in taxes from Californians, give or take.
Newsom continually points to a San Francisco universal healthcare program created when he was mayor as proof that he can make a single-payer plan work for all California. But equating that little San Francisco program with a massive statewide undertaking is like comparing kids’ T-ball to the major leagues.
Villaraigosa says he favors universal healthcare nationally but doesn’t have a clue how a single-payer plan could work in just one state.
“Nobody does,” he says. “That’s a fact.”
Chalk up some points for Villaraigosa.
Follow @LATimesSkelton on Twitter
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2018
Los Angeles, CA — Former Speaker of the State Assembly and 41st Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa responds to news that the Donald Trump Administration has filed a lawsuit against California.
Said Mayor Villaraigosa:
“This lawsuit is not about public safety; it is simply more divisive politics from Donald Trump.
“In 1979, Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates issued Special Order 40, which prohibited police officers from initiating contact with anyone solely for the purpose of inquiring about their legal status or arresting anyone for violation of federal immigration law.
“Special Order 40 made it possible for every Los Angeles resident to cooperate with the police regardless of their immigration status.
“Under my tenure as Mayor of Los Angeles, violent crime and gang crime went down by nearly 50 percent – with Special Order 40 in effect.
“Encouraging every resident, regardless of their immigration status, to report crimes, to agree to be witnesses and cooperate with local law enforcement is a cornerstone of our public safety strategy, and we must fight to protect these policies that are now under attack from Donald Trump.”
For Immediate Release
March 5, 2018
Says the people of California need a real plan, not name-calling
Los Angeles, CA — Today, former Speaker of the State Assembly and 41st Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa challenged Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to debate the merits of Senate Bill 562 (SB562).
Healthcare is currently a front and center issue in the campaign for Governor of California, in particular the proposed legislation SB562. The bill would end Medicare as we know it and ban successful health plans like Kaiser – forcing all Californians into a single state-run health insurance system.
Said Mayor Villaraigosa:
“I challenge Gavin Newsom to debate the actual details of SB562. Enough with the slogans – it’s time to show real leadership and have a serious in-depth discussion.
“I’m offering him the opportunity to explain in detail how he plans to fund this new policy estimated to cost $400 billion and increase taxes by $200 billion. He should detail how he will persuade Donald Trump and a Republican Congress to grant California the necessary waivers for it to become a reality. He can explain to seniors that rely on life-saving Medicare, how SB562 will force them into a new state-run system.
“I have a record of supporting universal healthcare. As Assembly Speaker, I authored the Healthy Families program that provided healthcare coverage to 750,000 uninsured Californians. We passed it because it was sound policy.
“Newsom calls any attempt to demand details of his $200 billion tax increase and plan to force seniors off of Medicare as ‘defeatist.’ I call refusing to say how you will successfully persuade Californians to more than double their taxes while taking away their Medicare simply deceptive.
“I’m proud to stand with medical and policy leaders including Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the California Medical Association, the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the California Psychiatric Association in opposing SB 562.”
For Immediate Release
March 2, 2018
Villaraigosa Tours the Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina
West Covina, CA – Former Mayor of Los Angeles and gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa toured the Queen of the Valley Hospital and spoke with health care providers and hospital administration about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has allowed them to provide care to more Californians and the importance of protecting the ACA from efforts to dismantle it.
“Today, with the Affordable Care Act, nine out of ten Californians now have health coverage – which is progress that we can’t abandon,” said Villaraigosa. “Seeing how facilities and providers like the Queen of the Valley Hospital are able to provide quality care to more Californians with the support of the ACA reaffirms my belief that our number one priority on health care must be to protect the ACA.”
Villaraigosa was guided on a tour of the hospital’s emergency room and its Family Birth & Newborn Center. After the tour, Villaraigosa spoke with senior hospital administrators and physicians about how the ACA helped expand care to more Californians.
“The Affordable Care Act has made it possible to provide quality care to more residents, expanding health care to low-income and other vulnerable populations,” said Rob Curry, President & Chief Executive Officer of Citrus Valley Health Partners. “It’s an honor to show Mayor Villaraigosa our facility so he can see the how the ACA has helped us provide critical care to patients who might not otherwise get it.”
Villaraigosa has always fought for universal, quality and affordable health care – authoring the Healthy Families program, which was the largest expansion of health coverage in California since Medicaid was created in 1965 and until the ACA. Health care has become a central issue in the gubernatorial campaign, in particular, the debate on the SB 562 single-payer plan, which costs $400 billion.
“California can lead the way in providing quality health care for all, but SB 562 is not the way to do it. Not only would it create $200 billion in new taxes and end Medicare as we know it, SB 562 is based on the dubious premise that Donald Trump would approve a federal waiver to let the state implement it. Our first priority must to be to prevent the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress from dismantling the ACA, and we can’t let the political ambitions of a few candidates distract us from the fight in front of us,” said Villaraigosa.
Founded in 1962 by the Immaculate Heart Community, Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina is a fully accredited nonprofit, Catholic health care facility. It’s an affiliate of Citrus Valley Health Partners.
“More than a Dream”
California Democratic Party Convention 2018
February 24, 2018
Hello Democrats – Saludos a todos!
We’re here today because the California we grew up in was more than a dream. It was a real place where people could work hard, make it into the middle class – and stay there. I’m running for governor because we need to make that dream possible again.
We may not all start with the same opportunities, but we all want the same things: a good paying job, a safe neighborhood to raise our kids, a home we can afford, quality public schools, access to affordable health care and most of all – dignity and respect!
But, too many Californians are living paycheck to paycheck. Millions of immigrants are living in the shadows. And millions of Californians are working harder than ever before, but still falling further and further behind.
We are two Californias: one rich – and getting richer. And another where millions of hardworking families are still struggling to make their California dream come true.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. They call us the “Golden State,” and we can shine again – if we focus on what matters: creating more economic opportunity everywhere. This isn’t an abstract idea to me. It isn’t something I heard about at a panel at Davos. This has been my life’s vocation.
Some call it “income inequality,” but it’s much deeper than that. It’s time with your family inequality because you have to work two or three jobs. It’s opportunity inequality because your kids don’t have the same quality schools. It’s health inequality because you’re not living at the top of the hill, but at the bottom where the air and water are dirty.
Most of all, it’s respect inequality because that’s what a good job brings — pride, dignity and respect. And that’s why my priority as governor will be creating middle-class jobs that make it possible for families to buy homes, send their kids to college and retire with dignity.
We have enough Democrats worrying about Tesla drivers. We need a governor who is thinking every day about how families are going to earn gas money or bus fare to get to work.
As president of the ACLU of Southern California, I never gave up on the idea that every single person deserves equality, opportunity and respect. As speaker, I didn’t give up on the notion that universal healthcare was a right – not a privilege – which is why I authored and passed one of the largest expansions of healthcare in California until the ACA.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, I took over a city on the brink of bankruptcy, and I wasn’t afraid to be honest and make the hard choices it took to get us back on track. And we did get back on track, cutting violent crime by nearly 50 percent, taking on and turning around schools that had failed many of our kids for generations.
I wasn’t afraid to fight for what matters because being a progressive is more than a press release that helps politicians climb up the political ladder. Progressive in California must mean helping millions more climb the economic ladder!
Progress should be measured by how many Californians are: earning a middle-class wage, attending quality public schools, living in affordable homes, able to find quality and affordable healthcare and can retire with dignity.
I grew up in a home rich in love, but limited in opportunity.
I was raised in a neighborhood where we shared food with the families that couldn’t quite make it until payday. I’ve seen the despair of a man who cannot feed his family and the fear of a woman with children being evicted from her home.
I know the “other” California because I grew up in that California.
The great American poet Langston Hughes asked us, “What happens to a dream deferred?”
I’ve seen what happens when our dreams are deferred.
I’ve seen the homeless on our streets grow as fast as the population of our prisons. But I’ve also seen the hope in a child’s face who attends a school that has turned around. I’ve seen redemption swell the heart of a man once incarcerated who has been given a second chance. I’ve witnessed the pride of a working family being handed the keys to their first home.
Our California dream can no longer be deferred.
I’m asking you to believe in it again — to believe in each other again.
Because it’s more than just a dream.
And together – we are going to make our dream come true again.
For Immediate Release: February 24, 2018
Contact: Luis Vizcaino
SAN DIEGO, CA – Today, dozens of United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union traveled to the California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego where they held a rally to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor.
“Over several months, elected farm worker leaders – from companies under UFW contracts across California’s major agricultural regions – discussed the governor’s race, studied the candidates’ words and actions and spent a weekend interviewing the four candidates about their records of supporting farm workers, Antonio Villaraigosa received overwhelming support,” said UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “For decades, during good times and bad, Antonio has consistently stood up for us, the rights of workers and never backed down from a fight for what’s right. Antonio has marched with farm workers, made appeals to legislators, walked picket lines and used his influence to help farm workers win a better life in all of our important struggles.”
The UFW actively participates in campaigns for candidates who support the issues that are key to improving the lives of farm workers, as well as the issues that affect Latinos living in our urban centers: education, worker rights, immigrant rights, health care and the protection of human rights.
“I am honored and humbled to have the support of my UFW brothers and sisters,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This is particularly meaningful to me as I started my community activism in the farm worker grape boycott. At the age of 15, I was inspired to see farm workers organize and unite to fight for the dignity and respect they deserved. They taught me that in order to make change, you have to speak up and take action. As governor, I will continue the fight to extend greater economic opportunity and equality to all Californians.”
Prior to being elected to office, Villaraigosa had a 25-year career as a labor organizers and leader. In 1977-1985, Villaraigosa was steward, chief-steward and president of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), representing employees in the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in five states. He was also an organizer/field representative for SEIU 1000 and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), a union of more than 33,000 educators.
Labor union support for Mayor Villaraigosa continues to grow. Recently, Villaraigosa was endorsed by the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, California Police Chiefs Association and Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association.
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2018
BUENA PARK, CA – Today, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters endorsed gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa at their Carpenters Training Center citing his commitment to strengthening our economy by growing high-wage jobs and supporting the development of a skilled workforce.
“Antonio understands that California needs to be the land of opportunity. He will fight to ensure that our state improves our infrastructure and builds new, modern schools and college facilities that will prepare our young people for tomorrow’s jobs,” said Randy Thornhill, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. “As governor, Antonio will encourage investing in our local communities, enabling working families to work closer to home, allowing them to spend more time with their families and more time volunteering for their community while helping the environment. We know he will do these things because he has not forgotten his roots. We know Antonio will fight for all of us.”
Villaraigosa has made clear that his top priority as governor will be to grow the high-wage jobs that provide a pathway for families to reach – and stay in – the middle class. Villaraigosa has proposed doing that by fulfilling some of California’s most pressing needs – rebuilding the states infrastructure, building more affordable homes and providing life-long learning to ensure a skilled workforce, which are the foundations of a strong economy.
“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. My goal is to lift more Californians into the middle class and know that in order to do that we have to start by investing in our infrastructure and building more homes to meet the growing demand,” Villaraigosa said. “It’s particularly important to be here and tour the Carpenters Training Center because I know that it’s not enough to simply create jobs. We also have to have training programs, like this one, apprenticeship programs and educational opportunities to ensure that we have the skilled workforce we need to fill those jobs.”
The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters represents 50,000 union carpenters in six states and is dedicated to raising area standards for all carpenters in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Southwest Regional Council, working in partnership with union signatory employers, spend more than $20 million every year to provide training to their members. This training is provided through the Southwest Carpenters Training Fund and their 17 state-of-the-art training centers.
“California is known for our innovation, but we should be equally innovative in how we grow our economy and make sure that everyone has the training and education opportunities to do the jobs of the future,” added Villaraigosa. “The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters is investing in workers and training them to build a 21st century California that will continue to be a global competitor.”
For Immediate Release
February 19, 2018
SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, City Councilman David Alvarez (District 8) endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for governor citing his record and plans to increase economic opportunity and equality for all by supporting the growth of small businesses.
“I’m proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor because he cares about creating jobs and economic opportunity for all Californians,” said Councilman David Alvarez. “Antonio knows that when you support small businesses you support jobs in our community.”
“I want to thank Councilman Alvarez for his support and endorsement,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “As governor, I will work with local leaders to make business and job creation a top priority, beginning with helping small business owners navigate through the process and learn about possible credits and incentives available to help them not only establish their business, but to also succeed.”
Villaraigosa’s campaign is focused in growing high-wage jobs so families can reach and stay in the middle class to realize their own California dream. He will tackle the obstacles to doing business in the state so small business owners are able to grow and employ more workers, which will strengthen the local and state economy.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa championed the adoption of a three-year exemption from the gross receipts tax for new businesses. The city reformed its permitting process for new development, slashing bureaucracy and merged multiple departments into one centralized and streamlined process. The city also specifically focused on growing women-, minority- and disabled veteran-owned businesses.
David Alvarez was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2010. He serves as Chair of the Environment Committee, and a member of the Smart Growth & Land Use Committee. Council Member Alvarez’s achievements includes the creation of Cesar Solis Park, the first park built in decades in the South Bay, development of a new library for San Ysidro, a long awaited safe pathway for San Ysidro students, and has spearheaded the revitalization of Barrio Logan, including the formation of the Barrio Logan Planning Group.
Councilman Alvarez joins other prominent San Diego elected officials, Assembly Member Shirley Weber and State Senator Ben Hueso, in endorsing Villaraigosa for governor.
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2018
Sacramento, CA – Today, the California Police Chiefs Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Antonio Villaraigosa to endorse him for governor saying his public safety record tops all other candidates.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa increased the Police Department to more than 10,000 sworn officers, promoted constitutional community policing and violent crime was reduced by nearly 50 percent. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck credited Villaraigosa’s public safety strategy, which included expansion of the police force, anti-gang programs for at-risk youth and a successful effort to improve schools in low-income neighborhoods for helping to reduce crime in Los Angeles.
“During the Great Recession, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stood strong and kept public safety a priority, which resulted in the violent crime rate lowering by nearly 50 percent under his watch,” Chief Edward Medrano, President of the California Police Chiefs Association and Chief of the Gardena Police Department. “He is the only candidate for governor who has earned the trust of law enforcement, and only Antonio Villaraigosa meets the standard that earns our endorsement and wholehearted support.”
In the state legislature, Villaraigosa co-authored some of the nation’s toughest gun control measures. Villaraigosa co-authored SB 23, prohibiting the manufacture or import of assault weapons in California. In addition, he co-authored AB 106, requiring all firearms sold or manufactured in the state to be accompanied by an approved trigger lock safety device and a warning. Villaraigosa also co-authored AB 295, creating the Gun Show Enforcement and Security Act of 2000, changing the laws regulating gun shows, gun-show promoters and vendors, obligating the promoter to notify law enforcement regarding specified details of the gun show.
“PORAC is backing Antonio Villaraigosa because we need leadership that is pragmatic, experienced, respected for its efficiency, and strong enough to inspire all of us that the days ahead will be a time of opportunity and hope for everyone,” said PORAC President Brian Marvel. “In our review process of the candidates, we were impressed that he has a history of creating coalitions and bringing individuals from varying interests together.
“A safe community requires a strong partnership based on trust with the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our families safe, and I am proud to have their trust,” said Antonio Villaraigosa. “These exemplary law enforcement organizations work to create safer neighborhoods for where our families live and work. I will support efforts to keep our communities safe so that we can foster economic growth in all regions of our state.”
The California Police Chiefs Association (Cal Chiefs) represents the state’s municipal police chiefs whose agencies protect over 26 million Californians. Cal Chiefs advocates for sound policy on public safety issues at the state capitol and has an active government relations program. In addition to its committees that focus on emerging issues and provide resources and sample policies to its members, Cal Chiefs provides professional development and training to police chiefs and seconds in command throughout the state.
The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) was incorporated in 1953 as a professional federation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. PORAC represents over 70,000 public safety members and over 930 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation. PORAC’s duty is to provide Californians with the safety and security they need to feel protected in their homes and on our streets. It is PORAC’s mission to identify the public safety needs in communities and provide programs to adequately meet those changing needs.