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December 19, 2019 – When Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced the launch of the Healthy California for All Commission—a group working to advance guaranteed health care coverage in California—his appointees included Carmen Comsti, 35, a regulatory policy specialist with the California Nurses Association (CNA).

“This is a great day for California. Far too many people in this state are still struggling to pay for lifesaving care. Carmen’s expertise at drafting strong health and safety legislation are indispensable on the road to health care as a human right,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director of CNA.

“As a policy expert and a young woman of color, Carmen’s insight is indispensable, and we commend Governor Newsom for appointing her to this important Commission,” added CNA Government Relations Director Stephanie Roberson.

As a regulatory policy specialist for CNA and National Nurses United, Comsti has drafted both state and federal health and safety legislation, including on Medicare for All and health care workplace violence. She has also researched and analyzed key design features of a single-payer health care system, traveling to both Taiwan and Canada to learn from the successes of those two single-payer health care systems and working closely with legislators and stakeholder groups to develop legislative proposals on single-payer healthcare. 

“I believe that every person living in the state of California—and the country—deserves guaranteed, quality healthcare without regard to their ability to pay. The most effective and efficient way that our state could do so is through a unified financing system, a single-payer healthcare system,” said Comsti. “The Healthy California for All Commission would take California closer to this principle, and I’m honored to play a part in bringing guaranteed healthcare to all Californians.”

The Commission, which has 13 voting members including Comsti, will meet for the first time Jan. 27 in Sacramento. According to the governor’s press office, the Commission will prepare an initial report to the Governor within the coming months and a final report by early next year.