The Agenda

LGBTQ lawmakers in California pave way for universal health coverage

Openly LGBTQ Senators and 2016 Victory Fund candidates Toni Atkins and Ricardo Lara are pushing a sweeping “Medicare for all” bill that would provide health insurance to nearly every Californian.

If successful, California would join Vermont as the second state to attempt universal coverage. Lara recently announced he’s running for state insurance commissioner in 2018, where he’d oversee implementation of the plan.

From KQED:

The bill, co-sponsored by the California Nurses Association, would aim for something like a system of “Medicare for all” in which the government, not insurers, provides payments and sets coverage rules.


“It’s the right moral thing to do,” Lara says. “We live in the United States of America. We live in the most powerful state in the union. It is the right thing for us to make sure that we fight to ensure that everyone has coverage.”


Lara’s bill contains a long list of benefits the statewide program would cover. Not just doctors and hospitals, but also prescriptions, vision and dental care, hospice and rehabilitative therapies, and more.