Some California legislators are hoping to push through a single-payer healthcare bill that would cost the state an estimated $400 billion—more than the entire national budget of Honduras (and 116 more countries across the globe). If passed, the bill would in effect eliminate health insurance companies there and provide government-funded health coverage for all residents. If it needs to be said, funding the plan would require “significant tax increases,” according to legislative analysts. On the other hand, proponents say, much of the cost would be offset by existing state, federal, and private spending on health coverage. Even they acknowledge, though, that there would still be an annual cost increase of between $50 billion and $100 billion annually. Currently, the state has an annual budget of $125 billion in total (not just healthcare). The California Nurses Association is a strong supporter of the bill, reasoning that getting rid of traditional insurers and associated administrative costs would allow for more spending on patient care. Opponents of the bill—most notably employers, business groups, and health plans—say the necessary tax increases would crush businesses and devastate the workforce. Urgent care operators in California are urged to contact their state legislators to make their feelings about the plan known.
California Looks at $400 Billion (with a B) Single-Payer Bill