California's four Democratic candidates for governor all promised to expand health care for Californians, but are split over whether that approach should be a single-payer system.
At a forum in Anaheim sponsored by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated his support for single-payer in California, while former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged caution over adopting a dramatic overhaul that could cost billions of dollars.
"I support in concept the notion of single payer," Villaraigosa said. "When you’re governor, you gotta make the tough choices. You can’t just say I want pie in the sky."
The split over whether to pioneer a statewide single-payer health care system will likely become a signature issue in a race between candidates who largely share similar liberal values.
Villaraigosa's call for fiscal stewardship was met with Newsom's retort that California needs to be at the national forefront of progressive health care policy.