The California Senate approved a bill that would implement a single-payer health care system in the state without including a plan to cover the costs of the $400 billion proposal, according to the Los Angeles Times.
SB562, the Healthy California Act, would replace California’s health insurance marketplace with a publicly funded health care system. The bill, if signed into law, would cost more than the state’s entire budget.
The Times reported that the “bare-bones” bill passed by the Senate does not contain a plan to pay for the cost of a single-payer system. The state Assembly will consider the bill next.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, who proposed the bill alongside his fellow Democrats, has argued that California should implement its own single-payer health care system.
“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate about the bill, the Times reported.
Republican state Sen. Tom Berryhill told the Times that “we don’t have the money to pay for it.”
“If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB 562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the $400-billion price tag,” Berryhill said.
Berryhill also said he doesn’t trust the government “to run our health system.”
“What has the government ever done right?” he asked.