Sanders vexed by single-payer bill defeat
Sen. Bernard Sanders, a self-acknowledged socialist, lashed out Saturday at California Democrats for shelving an ambitious single-payer health-care bill, urging them to vote on the legislation estimated to cost $400 billion per year.
California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced Friday that Senate Bill 562 had been pulled indefinitely because it “does not address many serious issues,” including “financing, deliver of care, [and] cost controls.”
Mr. Rendon left open the possibility that the measure could be reconsidered, noting that this is the first year of a two-year legislative session, but Mr. Sanders called on him to allow a floor vote.
“I am extremely disappointed that the speaker of the California Assembly is refusing to allow S.B. 562, the single payer health care bill passed by the state Senate, to come to the Assembly floor for a vote,” Mr. Sanders tweeted.
He asked supporters to contact Mr. Rendon, saying that, “California has the opportunity to lead this nation in a very different health care direction” and “take on the greed of the insurance companies and the drug companies.”
Progressives have placed single-payer at the top of its agenda, but support for the universal health care measure cooled after a legislative analysis last month placed the annual cost at $400 billion, more than twice the size of the state budget.