Leno’s Single-Payer Health Bill Clears Committee

Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco),

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), guaranteeing all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide.
The legislation passed the committee with a 6-2 vote.
California currently spends about $200 billion annually on a fragmented, inefficient health care system that wastes 30 percent of every dollar on administration, according to Leno. Under Senate Bill 810, that wasteful spending is eliminated. The bill redirects the funds Californians already spend on health care to allow comprehensive coverage. The state would save $8 billion in the first year under this single-payer plan, he says.
“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” said Leno. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy. Consequently, fewer employers are providing health benefits to their employees, and those workers who are fortunate enough to receive coverage are paying higher premiums for diminishing services. By guaranteeing universal access for all Californians, our single-payer plan will reduce the health care burdens that are hurting families and our state’s economy.”
SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All,” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.
“SB 810 is the only proposed solution to the continuing patient care crisis that guarantees healthcare for all Californians and controls costs while eliminating the denials of care and restrictions of provider choice imposed by private insurance companies,” said DeAnn McEwen, a registered nurse at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and co-president of the California Nurses Association. CNA is one of the co-sponsors of SB 810.