Washington D.C. isn’t the only location where health care policy is being hotly debated.

Sacramento is also discussing how to radically change the delivery of health care.

In the nation’s capitol, it is the Affordable Care Act and its possible replacement which is front and center.

In California’s capitol, the state legislature is pondering the idea of establishing a “single payer” system of health care for its residents.

The California Senate recently approved a bill that would create such a program in which the state is the only payer for health care.

The idea has only begun to be discussed but on July 28, the Business Journal will sponsor a debate tackling the topic as part of its annual Health Care Conference.

Replacing the current system with one in which the state government administers a health care delivery system will be discussed by Michael Lighty, director of public policy at the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

The nurses union has been supportive of the idea, backing at the bill which would require the state to explore the idea. It has touted studies which suggest that the adoption of such a plan would save $37.5 billion annually in health care spending — even after adding the state’s nearly 3 million currently uninsured residents.

On the other side will be David Fear Jr. He is the president-elect of the California Association of Health Care Underwriters.

The CAHU predicts nearly 500,000 jobs will be lost in California if SB 562 becomes law and will cost $400 billion to implement. It argues single payer places a tax burden on individuals and families. With the current health care exchange, Covered California, already in place, the association supports the idea of expanding that “market-based approach.”

At the same conference, California Hospital Association Senior Vice President for Health Policy and Innovation Anne McLeod will the keynote speaker. McLeod joined CHA in 2007 and immediately began working on health policy and financing issues with then Governor Schwarzenegger’s health care reform team. She designed and developed the original hospital fee a landmark program for the hospital industry, providing billions of dollars of new funding.

In California, CHA represents the interests of the state’s hospitals and health systems with the legislature, administration and regulatory agencies. Established as a not-for-profit corporation, CHA’s three corporate members are the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California (Hospital Council), Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) and Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties (HASD&IC). The association represents more than 400 hospitals and health care systems.

In addition to McLeod and the single-pay panel, conference presenters will include Naomi Fuchs, CEO of the North Bay’s largest health center network, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers. She serves as the chair of the California Primary Care Association.

The July 28 conference will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. Tickets are $70 per person or $715 for a table of ten. Register at nbbj.news/health17 or call 707.521.5264