California state Democrats failed to pass a bill which would have created a state universal health care system. The legislation, Assembly Bill 1400, would have been the first of its kind in the country.
Democrat lawmakers said they were planning to fund AB 1400 with a proposed tax amendment that would significantly increase taxes throughout the state. The Tax Foundation suggested that ACA-11 could raise taxes by about $12,250 per household to fund the government-funded healthcare that AB 1400 would have implemented.
“This bill would create the California Guaranteed Health Care for All program, or CalCare, to provide comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state,” read AB 1400.
Democrat Assemblyman Ash Kalra explained that he could not secure the necessary 41 votes to push the bill out of the 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,” Kalra said in a press release. “Although the bill did not pass the Assembly by today’s deadline, this is only a pause for the single-payer movement.”
The bill said “CalCare cover a wide range of medical benefits and other services and would incorporate the health care benefits and standards of other existing federal and state provisions, including the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medi-Cal, ancillary health care or social services covered by regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities, Knox-Keene, and the federal Medicare program.”
Part of the bill’s demise stemmed from moderate Democrats being concerned that the legislation would cost $391 billion each year. California’s budget this upcoming year is $263 billion by comparison. A study done by the University of California Berkeley Labor Center reports that California is on pace to spend $517 billion on expenses related to healthcare this year regardless.