Single-payer healthcare is a 'tough, tough sell' as California faces massive budget shortfall

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SACRAMENTO — 

California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas formed uncertainty connected nan latest connection to create a state-run single-payer healthcare system, saying he likes nan thought but isn’t convinced nan authorities tin spend it successful nan look of a fund shortfall of astatine slightest $38 billion.

“The conception of single-payer and expanding entree and affordability are bully ideas,” Rivas, a Democrat from Hollister, told reporters astatine nan authorities Capitol connected Tuesday. “I opportunity this pinch awesome respect to stakeholders and advocates: We request to spot really this is funded. It’s a bully thought but it’s a tough, reliable sell, particularly successful a fund ambiance that we are experiencing now.”

Assembly Bill 2200, called Guaranteed Health Care for All — aliases CalCare — would group up a cosmopolitan single-payer healthcare strategy for each residents of California. The measure by Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San José) is based connected his anterior single-payer legislation, which grounded to get capable votes to move guardant successful January 2022.

A legislative study of that measure pegged nan costs betwixt $314 cardinal and $391 cardinal successful authorities and national costs — a sum that is larger than nan full authorities fund Gov. Gavin Newsom projected for nan 2024-25 fiscal year: $291.5 billion.

The Legislature’s analysts person not yet wished a value tag for Kalra’s caller bill. He says it differs from his earlier effort because it establishes an advisory committee, explicitly lists gender-affirming attraction and expansive reproductive attraction arsenic benefits, requires an finance successful nan recruitment and retention of healthcare workers to meet nan request for services, and ensures that physicians are represented connected nan CalCare board.

Facing unit from progressive activists and a politically engaged nurses national that has been pushing for single-payer healthcare, California lawmakers person tried about 10 times complete nan years to overhaul nan state’s healthcare system.

The proposals usually upwind up dividing Democrats and withering owed to concerns complete cost, guidance from backstage insurers and nan analyzable bureaucracy that undergirds nan nation’s transportation of healthcare.

Last year, Newsom signed a measure that would group nan stage for cosmopolitan healthcare by helping California get a waiver from nan national authorities to usage Medicaid and Medicare funds for a imaginable single-payer system. The measure by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was meant arsenic an incremental measurement to reside immoderate of nan logistical hurdles that had stymied earlier proposals for sweeping reform.

The California Nurses Assn., a staunch advocator for single-payer healthcare, opposed Wiener’s bill, expressing skepticism complete whether it would thief create a single-payer strategy aliases simply facilitate an loop of cosmopolitan healthcare — which they opportunity are different systems. A single-payer strategy intends that nan nationalist receives wellness security done a centralized payer, usually done a government. Universal sum mostly refers to ensuring each residents person sum done some nationalist and backstage systems.

During his speech pinch reporters, Rivas reiterated his interest astir nan fund deficit.

Rivas called Newsom’s shortage projection of $38 cardinal “more optimistic” than nan 1 provided by nan Legislative Analyst’s Office, nan state’s nonpartisan agency that advises nan Legislature, which projected a astir $68-billion shortfall successful December. It updated its estimate Tuesday to peg nan shortage astatine astir $73 billion. The figures are estimates based, successful part, connected projections of early revenue.

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Source latimes
latimes