Single-payer health care put on hold in California as leader calls legislation ‘woefully inadequate’


SACRAMENTO >> A proposal to deliver common, single-payer well being care to California — changing the non-public insurance coverage market with a single, government-run plan — was abruptly placed on maintain late Friday afternoon.

Early this month, the state Senate voted to move a $400 billion plan sponsored by the California Nurses Affiliation, sending it to the Meeting. However the measure had few particulars — together with how the state would increase the cash to pay for it.

Meeting Speaker Anthony Rendon stated he supported the idea of single-payer well being care however known as the invoice “woefully incomplete.”

“Even senators who voted for SB 562 famous there are probably deadly flaws within the invoice,” he wrote in an announcement late Friday, “together with the actual fact it doesn’t handle many critical points, similar to financing, supply of care, price controls, or the realities of wanted motion by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a real piece of laws.

“In gentle of this, I’ve determined SB 562 will stay within the Meeting Guidelines Committee till additional discover.”

The proposal dominated the California Democratic Conference, with proponents — together with the nurse’s union president — promising to “main” Democratic officers who didn’t get on board.

Champions of single-payer well being care say that it’ll save Californians cash, though their taxes would enhance, as they might now not pay premiums or deductibles and the system would remove insurance-company income and overhead. A research launched late final month, commissioned by the nurses, discovered that such a system may save Californians $37 billion yearly on well being care spending, even because it coated practically three million uninsured.

Nonetheless, few political insiders anticipated the Meeting to move the laws this yr, given its price and the uncertainty surrounding the Reasonably priced Care Act, which Republicans in Congress try to repeal.

“I believe the shock is that he didn’t kill it quietly via the suspense course of,” stated Thad Kousser, a political science professor at UC San Diego, referring to the “suspense file” the place appropriations committees typically place pricey payments and resolve their destiny abruptly. “That’s the place costly payments go to die with out anybody having to take a public stand towards them.”

Nurses’ union leaders have been furious, calling the timing of the announcement “cowardly” and the message “disingenuous.”

“Whose curiosity is he performing on behalf of if not the insurance coverage trade and those that oppose having assured well being care?” requested Chuck Idelson, a spokesman for the affiliation. “It’s actually fairly beautiful.”


The invoice’s co-authors, Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, expressed disappointment, however didn’t blame, and even reference, the Meeting speaker of their joint assertion.

“We’re upset that the strong debate about healthcare for all that began within the California Senate won’t proceed within the Meeting this yr,” they wrote. “This concern will not be going away, and tens of millions of Californians are relying on their elected leaders to guard the well being of their households and communities.”

In his assertion, Rendon stated the invoice was not “lifeless,” noting that this was the primary of a two-year legislative session. Quite, he stated, can profit from deeper dialogue — within the Senate, its home of origin.

“The Senate can use that point to fill the holes in SB 562,” he stated, “and move and ship to the Meeting workable laws that addresses financing, supply of care, and value management.”

That line reads as a “little little bit of a slap” on the Senate, Kousser stated.

“What the Senate did to the Meeting,” he stated, “was ship a politically in style however not completely labored out invoice and made the Meeting doing the soiled work of killing it.”


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