California lawmakers consider dumping health insurers

While efforts to repeal the ACA have not been going well for Republicans in Congress, California state lawmakers are looking to completely remake healthcare closer to home. 

The audacious proposal to substantially overhaul California's health care system and guarantee coverage for everyone has been promoted by the state's nursing union and two Democratic senators. However, SB562 would affect everyone in the state - not just the 8% of people who are without health insurance in California. 

While the idea (better known as single-payer to many), has long been a popular solution to the health care crisis for the left, SB562 remains a long shot in Sacramento. 

If it could happen anywhere, it might as well be California. Democrats enjoy a substantial majority in the state legislature, making any move to push the boundaries of liberal public policy easier than it would be in other states. Plus, Democratic lawmakers are eager to find opportunities to stand up to Trump. 

The measure would guarantee health coverage for all California residents with no out-of-pocket costs. That would also include those people living in the country illegally. 

A new state agency would be created to handle contracts with health care providers like doctors and hospitals. Private insurers would be barred from providing similar services - effectively barring them from the market. 

However, how it will be paid for remains a sticking point for lawmakers. The bill imagines a solution in which they would have the same amount of funding now spent on healthcare. That would include money from Medicare, Medicaid, federal public health funds as well as Affordable Care Act subsidies. 

Lawmakers warn that the measure would require a tax increase on businesses, individuals or both. 

The measure faces a long road to approval. Not only would it completely revamp the entire health care system for everyone in California, it would also need to get past Jerry Brown's desk and a waiver from Trump's administration to waive rules about how federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars can be spent by the states. 

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