Universal Health Care Bill Stalls in Senate


SB 810, a bill that would create a universal health care system in California, stalled in the Senate this past Thursday ahead of a key legislative deadline, signaling it will likely fail to advance this year.

The measure, dubbed the "Medicare for all" proposal, failed passage by a vote of 19-15. Four moderate Democrats abstained and one joined Republicans in voting against the bill.

The apparent defeat of SB 810, which faces a Tuesday deadline for passing the Senate, was the latest setback for supporters of the single-payer movement, who have pushed the proposal multiple times in recent years.

The bill's author, Senator Mark Leno, said the system would stabilize health care costs and ensure all Californians have access to health care coverage.  He called the bill, which does not include funding to cover the projected $250 billion annual cost of the single-payer system, the first step in a "many-year project" that will likely require asking voters to approve financing.

Republicans said the proposal is misguided and would increase costs and bureaucracies at a time when the state can least afford it.