California lawmakers are considering a bill that would establish a state-run health plan as the sole health insurance company, effectively eliminating private insurers from operating in the state.
The legislation (SB 810) would establish the California Healthcare Agency to run a single-payer system, providing health coverage and negotiating rates with doctors and hospitals, the Sacramento Bee reported.
In addition to establishing a single-payer healthcare system, the so-called "Medicare-for-all" bill would ban private health insurance policies from being sold in California. It also would penalize residents and businesses without health insurance, according to Cal Coast News.
The California Senate Appropriations Committee considered the legislation Tuesday, but put it on hold for further review later this week. Sen. Mark Leno (D-Calif.), who introduced the bill, told the committee that health premiums in California have increased 153 percent since 2002, but the percentage of employers providing coverage has declined, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Although the bill stalled last year in the Senate, more than 100 advocates are pushing for passage this go-round so that Californians would stop paying private insurance companies to negotiate healthcare, KCRA reported.
If the bill passes the Senate, it will move to the Assembly for more hearings, the Sacramento Bee noted.