By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Senator Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, authors of Healthy California Act.
June 4, 2017 Sacramento) – Both houses of California’s Legislature have passed a landmark bill called the “Healthy California Act” to create a single-payer, universal healthcare system and eliminate private insurance companies from covering anything covered by the state plan, which is broad.
If enacted the measure coauthored by Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) would cover all Californians, with no premiums, copays or deductibles, for all medical, dental, vision care, mental health and chiropractic services.
But Senate bill 352 must go back to the Assembly to remedy a major flaw: the bill was advanced without details on how to pay for it, in order to meet legislative deadlines, and contains a clause that without the Secretary of Health and Human Services determining that a new Healthy California Trust Fund has sufficient revenues to fund the bill’s costs, it will not become law.