Cal­i­for­nia Se­nate panel pushes sin­gle-payer pro­posal

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

Cal­i­for­nia law­mak­ers last week pushed a pro­posal to turn the health­care sys­tem in the na­tion's most pop­u­lous state into a sin­gle-payer pro­gram.

The plan, pro­moted by the state's pow­er­ful nurs­ing union and two Demo­cratic se­na­tors, is a long­shot even though it made it past the state Se­nate Health Com­mit­tee. Sup­port­ers hope the tim­ing is right to per­suade law­mak­ers in Cal­i­for­nia, where Democrats like to push the bound­aries of lib­eral pub­lic pol­icy.

The mea­sure would guar­an­tee health cov­er­age with no out-of-pocket costs for all Cal­i­for­nia res­i­dents, in­clud­ing peo­ple liv­ing in the coun­try il­le­gally.

Pri­vate in­sur­ers would be barred from cov­er­ing the same services, essen­tially elim­i­nat­ing them from the mar­ket­place.

In­stead, a new state agency would set prices and con­tract with health­care providers such as doc­tors and hos­pi­tals and pay the bills for ev­ery­one.

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