California’s universal health care bill never stood a chance this year. The authors of Senate Bill 562, Democrats Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, didn’t include a way to pay for the far-reaching legislation, which was estimated to cost $400 billion to start.
Leaders of both houses had no detailed conversations about it with Gov. Jerry Brown, who publicly expressed deep skepticism about how to fund a program that’s more than twice the state budget.
All of this was happening as Brown and Democrats braced for Republicans in Washington to dramatically scale back health care spending for low-income people in California and beyond.
So when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a policy wonk who says he supports universal health care, announced late Friday he was holding the bill in committee, he merely expedited the inevitable.
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