For Immediate Release
Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women Supports Guaranteed Healthcare for All
SANTA ROSA, CA | September 25, 2023
On September 14, 2023, the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women voted unanimously to support guaranteed healthcare for all. The time to guarantee healthcare for all is now. There couldn’t be a more urgent moment to address the shortcomings of our current inadequate, inequitable, and fragmented healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only highlighted the vital importance of public health, but it has also led to a significant loss of employer-sponsored health insurance.
Many women serve as care providers to children, disabled family members, and elder family members and are ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. In addition, women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience lower rates of being insured, greater out-of-pocket costs, and other increased barriers to accessing health care. Guaranteed healthcare for all would help bridge the divide created by these inequities.
The County of Sonoma spends more than $87 million a year on health coverage for current and retired employees. Current proposed legislation—the Medicare for All Act of 2023 at the federal level, and the CalCare bill at the state level—propose single-payer, publicly funded insurance systems that guarantee quality care for all, without co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs. Residents, regardless of legal status, age or employment, will no longer be denied care or forced to use an emergency room due to lack of adequate insurance, nor pushed into poverty due to a health crisis. The vast majority of households and small businesses in Sonoma County would save money under a single-payer healthcare system, and healthcare providers would be able to focus on efficiently providing the best care possible for all residents if they did not also have to help patients navigate private insurance, MediCal, and other healthcare programs.
Guaranteed healthcare for all would save the California state budget hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, freeing up money to possibly be spent on childcare, education, climate adaptation, job training, and other critical services the Commission has advocated in favor of for decades.
We call on elected Sonoma County elected officials and municipal elected officials across Sonoma County to support single-payer healthcare for all at the state and federal levels. We additionally call on our state legislators, Governor, members of Congress, Senators, and President to pass and enact the proposed legislation that would make single-payer healthcare a reality.