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Capitol Update, Jan. 29, 2010
The lack of progress on Health Care Reform on the Federal level has reinvigorated the discussion here in California. Last week Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) moved forward his legislation to create a single-payer government health care program in California. SB 810 is estimated to cost $200 billion dollars a year. Even with this high price tag, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bill out along party lines.
SB 810 would establish the California Healthcare System (CHS), a single-payer health care system that attempts to provide coverage for all 37 million Californians. Essentially, this bill would collectively administer all existing state-administered health care programs, the privately funded insurance industry and coverage for the state's uninsured.
This bill would create an expensive bureaucracy and eliminate competition among private insurance companies, which is the driver to lower costs and better care. Its implementation would force people to rely on the State to take care of their health needs. It would increase taxpayer obligations, contributing further to the State’s troubled economy. The cost of operating such a massive system would exceed any savings that the proponents hope to achieve by insuring more individuals.
SB 810 passed the Senate floor this week on a mostly partisan vote and now heads to the Assembly for further debate.
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