Single Payer health care in California came one step closer to reality Thursday after a last minute vote in the state senate. But one big question looms: How will the state pay for the program's massive $400 billion dollar price tag? That's more than the entire yearly budget for all government programs run by the state.
Universal Health Care will now move on to the California State Assembly for modifications, and if passed will head back to the Senate. If it passes with a two thirds majority it will head to Governor Brown's Desk. But his signature is anything but certain. Brown has not indicated he's receptive to the bill and it's massive price tag, and is known to be fiscally conservative on many matters.
Analysts say that one of the only way to pay for the bill would be to increase the state income tax rate by 15%. That's something that Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno says should never happen, and that the bill is politically motivated. " There is serious concern even by democrats on the senate side that this is more a politically motivated effort , it has really no funding, and its 400 billion dollar price tag. We might as well shut down every operation in the state of california for that kind of a number", said Patterson.
Progressive California Democrats, backed by The California Nurses Association commissioned a new fiscal study that indicates the price tag would be substantially less than the original $400 billion dollar estimate
All Californians would be covered under the bill regardless of their income, or immigration status. Voters would also need to OK the proposal to exempt it from spending limits and budget formulas in the state constitution.