$400 billion price tag for California single-payer bill

Posted May 24, 2017

In one proposal, a new payroll tax on employers - with a rate of 15 percent of earned income - could provide the new revenue.

Democrats proposing the legislation have not said how they will pay for the plan. Sen. The state would pay for nearly all of its residents' medical expenses - inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care - under the plan, and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles.

The latest stop on this magical mystery tour of progressive health care plans is California, where U.S. Sen. However, the state would need to raise another $200 billion from tax hikes, according to the analysis.

"This bill would require unprecedented changes to a mature healthcare system", the legislative analysis states."Therefore, there is tremendous uncertainty in how such a system would be developed, how the transition to the new system would occur and how participants in the new system would behave".

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At Monday's hearing, Nick Louizos, that group's vice president of legislative affairs, disputed comments by Michael Lighty, public policy director for the California Nurses Association, about the percentage of money health insurers now take in for, among other things, administration, marketing and profit.

It came hours after a raucous convention of the California Democratic Party, during which ascendant left-wing activists loudly demanded taxpayer-supported universal health care coverage.

Last month, SB 562 passed the Senate Health Committee on a 5-2 vote.

A well-known effort to create a single-payer plan was in Vermont, but it failed in 2014 after the state couldn't figure out how to finance it.

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The California Chamber of Commerce said the costs would likely be far higher than what was projected and the taxes imposed on employers would trigger major job losses. "The impact on employers will be astounding", Nielsen said. Senate Bill 562, titled the Healthy California Act, goes before the state Senate appropriations committee in Sacramento. If adopted, California would become the first state in the country to institute a single-payer system. "The state has never gotten anything right in healthcare".

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal last fall amid widespread concerns about the cost.

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