San­ders vexed by sin­gle-payer bill de­feat

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Va­lerie Richard­son

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.

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