John Kawakami Opposition to SB 770

June 20, 2023

Assemblymember Jim Wood
Chair of the Assembly Health Committee 
1020 N Street, Suite 390
Sacramento, CA 95841

RE: SB 770 (Wiener), Health care: unified health care financing — OPPOSE

Dear Chair Wood,

I oppose Senate Bill 770 (Wiener). This bill appears to be adversarial legislation to CalCare, the Medicare for All bill, AB 1690, the single-payer bill.

SB770 calls for “unified financing”, which seems to be a way to avoid moving toward single-payer, and to open the door to retain existing insurance companies and ACOs

SB770 calls for a lot of informal meetings. Call me cynical, but I think that amounts to government-paid lobbying opportunities for a lot of insurance company lobbyists.

We have a system of democracy and horse-trading in the legislatures, and I would prefer that the negotiations happen via elected politicians’ staffers rather than unelected political operatives.

We already had this Healthy California for All Commission to explore healthcare financing. We already have numerous existing insurance companies that we understand. We already have a Medicare system that’s understood. We already have a VA healthcare system that’s understood.

This is more than enough to create a Single Payer insurance system.

For these reasons, I respectfully oppose SB 770 and urge you to vote “no” when it comes before you in committee.


John Kawakami

Private citizen