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Universal health care bill fails in California after Democrats are unable to garner enough votes

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Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A bill that would have implemented universal health care in California failed on Monday after Democrats were unable to garner enough votes to push it through the state Assembly.

The law would have been the first of its kind in the United States.

Assembly member Ash Kalra wrote the bill, but she pulled it from consideration after realizing it would not get the needed number of votes from the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

“It became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage, and I decided the best course of action is to not put AB 1400 for a vote today,” said Kalra, according to KSBW-TV.

The legislation had no estimate on how much it would cost or how Democrats expected to pay for the project. A study from 2017 said that the bill would cost $331 billion a year, or $356 billion when inflation is taken into account.

The California Nurses Association blamed Democrats for the bill's failure to pass.

"Nurses are especially outraged that Kalra chose to just give up on patients across the state. Nurses never give up on our patients, and we will keep fighting with our allies in the grassroots movement,” the association said in a news release.

Kalra blamed "heavy opposition" and "substantial misinformation" for the bill failing.

"Although the bill did not pass the Assembly by today's deadline, this is only a pause for the single-payer movement," wrote Kalra, "our coalition, including the mighty California Nurses Association, will continue the fight for accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare for all Californians."

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon also expressed "deep" disappointment that Kalra pulled the bill but remained optimistic for the bill to pass in the future.

“With time, we will have better and more successful legislation to bring us closer to this goal,” said Rendon. “I expect more and more of my colleagues to sign on, so we can make California a health care justice leader.”

Here's more about the Democrats' failed attempt:

Single-payer health care set for floor vote in California Assembly www.youtube.com

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