California Single-Payer Healthcare Bill Postponed

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The California State Senate’s single-payer healthcare bill will not be voted upon by the General Assembly and remain in the Assembly Rules committee until further notice.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon called the bill “woefully incomplete” and stated that “[…] there are fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 652 a genuine piece of legislation.”

The bill could be revived next year, but for the present time is has been shelved.

SB 652 would have doubled California’s budget and would have caused many other government functions to be put on the backburner to maintain the program. An additional $100 billion in taxes would have to be raised in order for single-payer to be funded.

Supporters of the bill state that the public would see savings in healthcare, due to no longer having to pay premiums and deductibles, but the math doesn’t add up. One study conducted by Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, found that Californian’s would see around a $37 billion in savings; much less than the proposed amount of taxes that the state would have to raise to fund it.

With that in mind, Pollin stills supports the bill stating in an LA Times Op-Ed “Healthy California is capable of generating substantial savings for families at most income levels and businesses of most sizes. These savings are in addition to the benefits that the residents of California will gain through universal access to healthcare.”

Unfortunately, this most likely does not signal that the healthcare bill will fail is revived. Speaker Rendon stills supports single-payer healthcare and hopes to use the year to “fill the holes” in the bill.

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