Universal Healthcare Bill in California to Face Key Deadline

A key test of whether Democrats in California can overcome the fierce opposition of business groups and insurers is whether they will advance the Universal Healthcare Bill that would provide health care to everyone in the nation’s most populous state.

Universal Healthcare Bill is the only statewide universal health care system in the country. The bill is still far from becoming law, but lawmakers in the Assembly have until Monday to save it this year.

Debating the cost of the bill

According to the U.S. News and World Report, it is probable that concerns about cost will predominate in Monday’s debate. The recent estimates showed that it would cost taxpayers at least $356.5 billion per year to cover the costs of roughly 40 million residents’ health care needs.

This year, California’s total operating budget, which pays for public schools, courts, roads and bridges, and other critical services, is approximately $262 billion

Democrats sought a constitutional proposal earlier this month that would levy heavy new taxes on corporations and individuals to fund the system. It would raise nearly $163 billion annually, and the amendment would allow lawmakers to boost taxes to keep up with the costs.

Paying a huge amount for health insurance

As reported by ABC News, supporters argue that Californians and their companies are already paying extravagant sums for health care as a result of high deductibles, co-pays, and monthly insurance premiums and that this will only become worse. If this bill becomes law, it would repeal all of those provisions and replace them with taxes instead.

Patients, insurers, and employers all contribute to California’s healthcare system. The bill before the Legislature would make the government the sole payer. It would destabilize the private health insurance market,  and they would still be available, but only for unfunded services.

Progressives have long wished for a single-payer healthcare system in the United States, believing that it would help to manage costs and save lives in the long run.

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