Kuehl Taking Another Stab at Single-Payer Health Care System
Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) on Tuesday will introduce for the third time legislation that would create a state-run, single-payer health insurance system in California, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed the bill in 2006 after it won approval in the Legislature, and the Times reports that he remains firmly opposed to it.
A 2004 study by the Lewin Group said that such a health care system would expand insurance coverage to California's 6.5 million uninsured residents and yield about $8 billion in savings from the state's overall health care spending. The system would be funded by payroll and income taxes, although the bill will not include mandates for the taxes that would be needed to fund the single-payer system.
If the tax provisions were included, votes from Republican lawmakers would be needed for the proposal to pass the Legislature, something that is highly unlikely this year.
More than 400 entities have endorsed the measure, including:
- California Nurses Association;
- City of Los Angeles; and
- Service Employees Union, California Labor Federation.
Opponents include health insurers and the California Medical Association (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 2/27). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.