SACRAMENTO, CA – Today the California Senate voted to approve the Healthy California Act (Senate Bill 562), putting the state on course to become the first to enact universal health coverage.Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced SB 562 to create a publicly-run healthcare system that will give every Californian quality healthcare.
“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more can’t afford the high deductibles and copays and often forgo care,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “For me, this issue is personal. This is the right fight, and the right thing to do for California’s families, children and seniors.”
“More and more, Californians believe healthcare is a basic human right. The momentum to provide universal care is building, and the moment is right to create a single-payer plan,” said Senator Toni Atkins. “I thank my Senate colleagues who voted to give SB 562 a chance to succeed. Let’s be clear – there is a lot of hard work to be done on this bill. There will be numerous hearings, plenty of input from interested parties and lots of time for the public to weigh in. I believe we can create a sound proposal for a healthcare system that costs less money and covers all Californians.”
The Healthy California Act proposes to cover all Californians, including 2.7 million who are uninsured – more than 7% of the population. It will lower costs and improve care for the one-third of Californians who are underinsured and pay high out of pocket costs and deductibles.
With SB 562, all Californians will have comprehensive healthcare including dental and mental health coverage.
Californians will be able to choose their doctors instead of being limited to narrow networks.
According to federal data, nearly 14% of our state’s gross domestic product goes to healthcare, and that amount is projected to rise.
An economic study released this week found substantial savings from the passage of Senate Bill 562.
The Congressional Budget Office found that House Republicans’ bill would take healthcare away from 23 million people and raise the cost of healthcare, especially for older Americans and those with health conditions.
The Healthy California Act would only take effect once a financing plan has been approved by the Legislature, the Governor and California voters.