Platform 2014: Health Care

California Democrats believe that healthcare is a human right not a privilege. The CDP recognizes the health and well-being of Californians cannot continue to be based on arbitrary private and public financial decisions and therefore advocates legislation to create and implement a publicly funded (single-payer), privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable healthcare system for all Californians.

To build a healthy future for all Californians, Democrats will:

  • Support and implement universal comprehensive healthcare for all Californians that includes medical and dental care, full reproductive health services that respects a woman's right to choose, preventive services, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment;
  • Support generally accepted holistic healing practices and alternative medicine, particularly those areas licensed by the state such as acupuncture and medical cannabis and utilized to relieve intractable pain without the side effects of conventional controlled drugs;
  • Enact legislation to remedy any uncertainty concerning dispensing of medical cannabis with regard to state law that will provide for the rights of medical cannabis patients and specify the means and manner of dispensing to qualified patients;
  • Lead the nation in providing comprehensive quality healthcare to all our people by enacting SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) coverage for all children in California;
  • Enact legislation to provide for doctor-directed levels of rehabilitation for brain injuries in all private healthcare plans and public healthcare programs, including injuries sustained through repeated trauma as in sports that manifest at a much later date;
  • Work to strengthen Medi-Cal and Medicare and oppose efforts to privatize such safety net programs;
  • Simplify language and plan choices for ease of understanding to individuals making health coverage decisions;
  • Support a requirement that all HMOs and health insurers obtain prior approval from the state before rates can be increased and when such time as all Californians are covered by publicly funded healthcare, support an independent panel free of healthcare industry conflict to oversee rate increases, cost-effectiveness, and quality of care;
  • Ensure that loss of employment does not cause a loss of healthcare;
  • Fight to eliminate ostensible denial of coverage because excessive rating based on pre-existing conditions;
  • Expand and strengthen respite care and in-home support services including adequate background checks prior to licensure, and promote an in-home support services system;
  • Ensure economic and physical access to multilingual healthcare services;
  • Support addressing healthcare disparities and promote the goals of the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health;
  • Support the full funding of community clinics and health centers that serve low-income and homeless populations;
  • Protect funding for healthcare services as mandated by voters from being transferred or redirected for any other purpose [e.g., Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63)];
  • Enforce the Patient's Bill of Rights;
  • Affirm that transgender Californians have access and insurance coverage for all medically necessary treatments;
  • Affirm that medical decisions must be made with respect for patients' rights to privacy and freedom to have control over their lives with fully informed consent;
  • Invest in education, incentives, and other means to prevent disease and promote healthy living; and,
  • Lead the fight against diseases by supporting and expanding stem cell and other groundbreaking research.