Holly Mitchell on the Quest to Bring Health Care to All Californians

HEALTH CAREFor most of her adult life, Holly Mitchell has worked to advance policy-based solutions for California’s staggering disparities in health care access and coverage. 

But as the pandemic ripped back the curtains on decades of festering health care issues, it has become clearer just how large that challenge is. Is a statewide legislative solution to a health system built on profit even feasible?

“If California can’t get it done, I can’t imagine that any other state would,” says Mitchell, a former advocate and state senator who now serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “What I’ve struggled with is, show me the algorithm of how to pay for it. … We have a responsibility as policymakers to pencil that out in a meaningful way.”

With another single-payer bill soon to be introduced in the State Assembly, Mitchell and others will revisit one of California’s longest-running conversations: how to ensure health care for all of its residents. For Mitchell, a Black woman who was born and raised in Los Angeles, her personal understanding of the scope of that problem gives her a deep appreciation of the challenge — and of why it has to be taken on.

In this episode of The Crossing, Mitchell shares her lived experience inside California’s fractured medical system and her ideas for bringing greater health care access to more people in the state.


(Mark Kreidler is a California-based writer and broadcaster, and the author of three books, including Four Days to Glory. This story appeared in Capital & Main.)