Single-payer health bill passes senate but critics question how to fund it

Manny Otiko | 6/22/2017, midnight
California has long been a national leader in healthcare innovation, and if Senate Bill 562 (which seeks to establish a ...

Sen. Tom Berryhill, (R-Twain Harte,) was also extremely critical of SB 562. He gave a lengthy speech in the Senate outlining his problems with the bill. According to Berryhill, the Democrats have not offered a clear plan for funding their single-payer health care system.

“If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB-562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the estimated $400 billion price tag,” said Berryhill.

“Obviously, the state would have to generate a lot of new revenue from somewhere, but the bill has not identified any concrete sources of revenue.” Berryhill also cited the VA, the UC system and the high-speed rail project as other examples of poorly financed and run government programs. “I’m just worried that single-payer would suffer the same fate as these other projects,” said Berryhill. Nguyen said the GOP favors improving healthcare by fixing Medi-Cal and also improving access to clinics that serve rural and low-income areas. “We should begin by working to improve access for the 14 million people on Medi-Cal, which is the state’s current government-run program.

SB 562 is being reviewed by the State Assembly. If they don’t add any amendments, it goes back to the Senate and onto Gov. Jerry Brown’s office. Brown has publicly expressed skepticism about the bill, especially about how to pay for it.