Assm. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). Still from AssemblyAccess video.




Assm. Jim Wood has been in hot water with progressives around the district due to his perceived lukewarm support for SB 562, a hastily thrown-together bill that would establish a single-payer health care system in the state of California, without providing many specifics about what that might look like. (See story here.)

Wood — a dentist — co-chairs a select assembly committee that is taking testimony on the delivery of health care in the state of California, and that select committee will be down in Los Angeles next month. In advance of that meeting, he sends out the following statement that seeks to assure constituents that his committee is working toward “health care for all” — if not single-payer, specifically.

From the Office of Assm. Jim Wood:

Co-chairs Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) and Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) announce the second in a series of hearings of the Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage to be held December 11 at the Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 S. Spring Street in Los Angeles. The hearing is currently scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

“This committee has been charged with identifying a pathway to healthcare for almost 40 million Californians,” said Wood. “Health care for all is our goal and we are committed to digging deep into the details of what can lead to a comprehensive, sustainable and affordable healthcare system for our state. Our goal is to complete our report, with actionable recommendations, in time for policy committees to consider next year.” 

This hearing will bring in experts to discuss several different health care systems within U.S. cities and states, both proposed and in operation, and the challenges they have faced in achieving health care for all. Also on the agenda will be a presentation on cost containment methodology.

“We must do better for Californians, and I believe we are making real progress with these hearings,” said Arambula.  “Our second hearing will give us the opportunity to hear from witnesses who will provide important information about how we can bring health care to each and every person in this state – children, families, and our seniors and disabled. The complexities of our current system have worn out their welcome and we know there is a better way.”

The speakers for the December 11 hearing are currently being confirmed and will be announced in early December.

The next hearing, planned for early 2018, will look at various proposals as well as legal and other challenges that must be addressed.

The select committee was created in March by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, with Wood and Arambula as co-chairs. Other committee members appointed include Assemblymembers Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) and Marie Waldron (R-Escondido).


Video from the previous meeting of the select committee can be found here and here, via the California Channel.