SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – Introduced as a hedge against President Donald Trump’s promise to gut former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law, a California bill establishing universal state-run health care was approved by a state Senate committee Wednesday.
After more than two hours of debate, the Senate Health Committee cleared the Golden State’s latest attempt at adopting universal health care despite key concerns as to how the system will be paid for.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, told the Senate Health Committee that Senate Bill 562is the best way to extend health care coverage to almost 3 million uninsured residents and that the state must act with urgency.
“With President Trump’s promise to abandon the Affordable Care Act and leave millions without access to care, California is once again called to lead,” Lara said.
The transformative legislation would create a single-payer health care system, provide health insurance to all California residents regardless of immigration status and allow state regulators to negotiate drug costs with the pharmaceutical industry. If it passes – in the face of opposition from powerful business and health insurance groups – the proposal as drafted would take effect January 2018.