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The California Senate Just Passed Single-Payer Healthcare
June 29 2017, 12:13 | Frederick Owens
California Senate has passed a bill allowing last call hours to extend to 4AM
As the Senate takes up health care reform, it "must act decisively to remove the harmful proposals from the House bill that will affect low-income people - including immigrants - as well as add vital conscience protections, or begin reform efforts anew", the chairmen said, reiterating key moral principles they urged be in the U.S. House bill to replace the Affordable Care Act.
What if you could have comprehensive, high-quality health care for every single person in California from cradle to grave that includes hospital and outpatient, primary and preventive, vision, dental, hearing, women's reproductive health, mental health, lab tests, rehab, and other basic medical needs and all with no premiums, deductibles, and co-pays? If the bill becomes law, the state has to entirely abandon fossil fuel electricity in less than three decades and accelerate its current renewable portfolio standard of 50 percent by 2030.
California has moved a step closer to adopting a 100% clean energy standard. But supporters and lawmakers involved acknowledge they don't have a consensus on how to pay for what will cost $400 billion.
The bill passed by just a single vote and now moves to the state Senate.
That would leave $106 billion in required funding that California would have to raise with the new taxes.
The study proposes a 2.3 percent increase in the state sales tax and the gross receipt tax but justifies the increase because individuals and businesses would see a decrease in health care costs.
The reported savings would come by virtue of negotiating drug prices and other medical services en masse-the state is home to almost 40 million people-instead of individuals or private entities negotiating on the behalf of smaller groups of people.
Separately, a new poll out Wednesday showed 70 percent of California voters say they support the healthcare goals set forth by the Healthy California Act. Lighty said the program would likely use the same rates as Medicare, which is less than what commercial insurers pay but more than Medi-Cal.
Finally, it does not account for the system's capacity to deliver on gold-plated promises.
Single payer has always been a rallying call for liberal health reform activists who argue it's the only way to ensure that everyone has access to medical treatment irrespective of socioeconomic status. It suggests giving tax credits or exemptions to small businesses and low-income earners.
To the spirit of the bill, the authors concluded that it would also provide full coverage to the roughly one-third of Californians who are now uninsured or underinsured.
Democratic Assemblyman Tony Thurmond of Richmond didn't vote on the bill and said it doesn't address the right problems in schools.
"First it was immigration, now it's enforce of our federal drug laws", said Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican from Huntington Beach who opposes the bill.
"Even as they voted on the bill, Democrats admitted that the plan is not 'fully cooked, ' that it is a work in progress, and that they still have no idea how they will pay for it".