Earlier this month in California, Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill for a universal healthcare plan that would provide health services to every resident. It would replace the current private health insurance market paid for by multiple entities including patients, employers, and insurance firms with a universal health care system supported by a single-payer system, i.e., the government.
In addition, Democrats have enacted a separate bill to settle the funding question. According to a study by the California Taxpayers Association, the bill’s proposals would raise taxes on businesses and individuals by about $163 billion per year. However, business groups, led by the California Chamber of Commerce, claim that this tax increase would not be enough to pay for a government-run health care system.
In any case, there is a long path ahead before the bill becomes a law, and the healthcare reform faces strong opposition from big lobbying groups. High costs, job losses, and lengthy wait times for care are just a few of the arguments put forth against the bill by its opponents.
The state has previously tried and failed to replace private health insurance. In 2017, lawmakers couldn’t find a way to fund universal healthcare. Now, Democrats think they have the kinks worked out, as well as enough public support, to make California the first state to offer universal healthcare to its residents.