Single-payer healthcare bill faces key decision in California

The California Assembly is poised to vote on a bill Jan. 31 that aims to create a single-payer healthcare system in the state — the bill's first major battle since a funding proposal for the program was introduced Jan. 6 — according to KTVU FOX 2

The state's plan to create a universal healthcare system involves two bills — AB 1400 and ACA 11 — that would implement and subsequently fund the program, dubbed CalCare. The Assembly is expected to only vote on AB 1400 on Jan. 31.

The Assembly must pass the bill Jan. 31 if it hopes to pass the single-payer framework bill by the end of the year. If the bill passes in the Assembly, it would then need approval in the Senate and from voters. 

The plan is being met with public pressure that believes the system would "create a new and exorbitantly expensive government bureaucracy." Lawmaker opposition also largely focuses on the bill's cost, which would be between $314 billion and $391 billion annually, according to KTVU. The bill's funding counterpart, ACA 11, proposes to pay for it with a tax increase on businesses and high-earning individuals. 

However, proponents argue that CalCare would cost less than the state's current system, which equates to $517 billion when considering both taxes and household spending. 

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