Gubernatorial Candidates in Discord Over Universal Healthcare

Created: 22 February, 2018
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Mario A. Cortez

Mario A. Cortez | La Prensa San Diego

The top four democratic candidates running for governor of California took to the podium last Thursday night as part of a debate held at southeast San Diego’s Jacobs Center.

During the debate, Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles; Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California, Delaine Eastin, former State chief of education; and State Treasurer John Chiang shared similar perspectives on some of the State’s most pressing problems.

During the course of the debate, the candidates agreed on subjects such as stricter gun control, protecting California’s families from the federal tax plan, offering early childhood education, addressing global climate change, and standing up for immigrant communities.

The only dispute among the candidates was over single payer healthcare, with candidates Newsom and Eastin in favor of implementing such a program. Villaraigosa and Chiang both argue that such a system is currently not feasible in the current economic climate, though they both support the idea.

While addressing the topic, Newsom stated that having single payer healthcare is cost effective and that California can run such a system, citing the program he developed as mayor of San Francisco as an example.

Villaraigosa called out Newsom on his inconsistent public stance on single payer as a gubernatorial candidate.

“Gavin has actually been all over the map on this issue,” Villaraigosa said. “Gavin has said to a nurses group that he was for (single payer), then he said he was against it, and then said in Orange County that he had not taken a position on it.”

The debate was organized by the San Diego County Democratic Party, the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club, and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.