California Health Reform

Convergence California Health Reform Initiative

The Challenge
The California health care reform debate over how best to finance California’s health care system and achieve universal coverage affects 40 million Californians. The debate regarding a single payer system, the work of the California State Assembly’s Select Committee on Health Care, and the subsequent introduction of health care-related bills, have brought increased attention to California’s current health care system and how it could be improved.

Project Overview
Conversations with key stakeholders revealed a significant interest in a deep, thoughtful, and creative discussion among a wide array of constituencies, facilitated by a non-partisan convener that is neutral on the issues, such as Convergence. Stakeholders have expressed interest in exploring consensus on an improved system that is:
1. universal;
2. affordable to consumers, businesses, and governments; and
3. provides equitable access to high quality care and service.

Using the Convergence dialogue-leading-to-action model, the project will assemble a working group of senior stakeholder representatives from providers, consumers, employers, payers, unions and others, to foster communication, uncover common goals, and build a common vision of what a universal and equitable system could and should be. Upon achieving consensus, the working group may choose to provide points of agreement to legislators as a recommended basis for lawmaking or it may select another course of action to impact California’s health care system.

Moving Forward
Planning is now underway for a series of stakeholder meetings to be held in 2018-2019. The goal is to explore ideas and craft proposals for a health care financing system based on the common values, expertise, and experience of a wide array of participants in the health care system.

Convergence has substantial experience with health-related projects. For example, at the national level, Convergence recently convened a successful national Health Reform Roundtable involving ideologically diverse and nationally respected health policy thought leaders. The members of that separate Convergence effort reached agreement on bipartisan policy pathways forward at two critical points in the 2017 health care debates. Convergence remains engaged on a national level in health care policy issues through the Future of Health project.

Convergence has received generous funding to launch the California Health Reform Initiative and is exploring additional funding opportunities to complete the dialogue process and foster the implementation stage.