Single-payer healthcare bill on hold in Senate

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 27, 2012

SB 810 (Mark Leno, D-San Francisco), the single-payer healthcare bill, failed passage on the Senate floor on Thursday, but was granted “reconsideration” at the request of Senator Leno and could be brought up again as early as Monday when the Senate reconvenes.  Because the vote was only two shy of that needed for passage (19 ayes-15 noes), it is possible, with a Democrat majority in the Senate, for Senator Leno to obtain the support needed and advance the bill to the Assembly for further review.

This bill would create a new government agency charged with providing health coverage to all Californians.  The revenue necessary to implement the bill ($200 billion) would be generated solely through premiums paid by California employers.  To balance the budget for the program, premiums can be increased, benefit and provider payments can be reduced, or co-payments and deductions can be imposed.

Many in the business community argue this bill is premature in light of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2009 and urge the Legislature to diligently work towards the implementation of that federal reform, instead of creating a duplicative state system.  We assert that the creation of a state government-run healthcare system funded solely by businesses will not result in a more efficient or cost-effective system.

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