Democrats Look to California for Single-Payer Healthcare

A longtime goal of the Democratic Party for the government to take over health insurance may become a reality in California if it can get past major concerns about cost that could lead to its defeat.

The California Senate recently approved a bill that would create a single-payer healthcare program in which the state is the only payer for healthcare. California essentially would eliminate private insurance, with residents signing up for a state program that would give them access to healthcare with no out-of-pocket costs.

Single-payer, long a goal of Democrats, has received renewed energy this year in Congress, despite Republican control of Congress and the White House.

Advocates say there is broad support for single-payer, not just among Democrats.

“There is broad support for single-payer not only in California, but nationally, even among registered Republicans and Republican and conservative business leaders,” said Charles Idelson, spokesman for National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association, which is pushing the California bill.

The California Senate passed the single-payer bill June 1 by a vote of 23-14 with three members not present. The bill now heads to the state assembly. If it passes there, it will move to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Full Article here.