Universal health care bill faces deadline in California

Sacramento, California (AP) — Democrats in California need to decide on Monday whether to submit a bill to pay the government for medical care for everyone in the most populous state in the United States. An important test of whether one of their long-sought policy goals can overcome fierce opposition from corporate groups and the insurance industry.

Invoice The Legislature will create the only universal health insurance system in the entire state. It’s still a long way to go to legislation, but Monday is the last chance for Congressmen to keep the bill alive this year.

The bill creates a universal health insurance system and sets its rules, but there is no payment for it.I have Another bill It will do it. The deadline is different and you don’t have to pass on Monday.

Still, Monday’s debate will probably be dominated by cost concerns. According to the latest estimates, taxpayers will cost at least $ 356.5 billion annually to pay for the medical costs of about 40 million residents. California’s total operating budget for public schools, courts, roads, bridges and other important services is approximately $ 262 billion this year.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Party submitted a draft amendment to the State Constitution. This will impose a large amount of new tax on businesses and individuals to pay for the system. Taxes generate approximately $ 163 billion annually, and this amendment empowers lawmakers to raise these taxes to keep up with costs.

Proponents hope that proposals for both the bill to create the system and the bill to pay for it will move forward together this year. But the deadline for Monday is only the bill to create the system. Still, it doesn’t stop the opponent from connecting the two issues.

“Voting for this bill is, of course, a vote for the taxes that come with it,” said Preston Young, a policy advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, who leads a coalition of 130 companies that oppose the bill. “As medical costs continue to grow, so will the associated tax obligations.”

Proponents say Californians and their employers have already paid exorbitant amounts of medical expenses through high deductions, out-of-pocket payments, and monthly premiums. If this bill becomes a law, it will eliminate them all and replace them with taxes.

“Sure, there’s a sticker shock, but the amount we’re paying now should have a sticker shock,” said Stephanie Roberson, head of government relations at the California Nurses Association. People need to reach a deduction of tens of thousands of dollars. This program eliminates it. “

Today, many people, including patients, insurance companies, and employers, are paying for California’s healthcare system. The bill before Congress would turn it into a single payer, the government. Once enacted, it will unravel the private health insurance market. Private health insurance will continue to be granted, but only for services not covered by the government.

Progressive has long dreamed of believing that the US single-payer healthcare system will keep costs down and save lives. But that never happened.Vermont established the country’s first single-payer health care system in 2011, but since then Abandoned it because of the cost.. The proposal in Congress didn’t go anywhere.

In California, voters overwhelmingly rejected the single payer system in the 1994 voting initiative. State legislators tried again in the 2000s and passed the single payer law twice, both of which were rejected by the government at the time. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another attempt in 2017 passed the Senate but died in Congress.

Voting this year is not easy, even in the famous liberal California. The bill, with the support of some Democratic leaders and strong trade unions, has strong opposition from corporate groups that are pressured not to vote for more moderate Democrats.

The bill requires 41 votes to survive on Monday. The Democratic Party has 56 out of 80 parliamentary seats. However, they have lost three of their more liberal members who recently resigned to take on other jobs, leaving little room for asylum.

So far, supporters haven’t got any backing from anyone they thought was an important ally: the popular Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom campaigned for a universal health insurance system in the 2018 governor’s election. However, since taking office, Newsom has focused primarily on expanding access to insurance coverage.

Newsom said he still supports the single payer system. A committee he set up to study ideas will publish its report later this year. But Newsom is silent about this latest proposal before the deadline on Monday.

“What we need now is the Governor’s support for this bill,” Roberson said. “We welcome him to fulfill his campaign promise.”