Politics

Single-payer California health care bill put on ice for 2017

File: Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, urged lawmakers to approve his measure that would ban hunters from using lead ammunition, during Assembly session in Sacramento on Sept. 10, 2013.
File: Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, urged lawmakers to approve his measure that would ban hunters from using lead ammunition, during Assembly session in Sacramento on Sept. 10, 2013.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

The proposed single-payer health care bill in the California state Assembly has been tabled for the rest of this year. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a statement that the bill will remain in the Assembly Rules Committee "until further notice."

While Rendon said that he is a support of single-payer health care and has been encouraged by the conversation begun by the bill, the bill as it stands is "woefully incomplete."

"Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation," Rendon said.

With 2017 being the first of a two-year session, the bill could be revived, according to Rendon.

"In fact, it leaves open the exact deep discussion and debate the senators who voted for SB 562 repeatedly said is needed," Rendon said. "The Senate can use that time to fill the holes in SB 562 and pass and send to the Assembly workable legislation that addresses financing, delivery of care, and cost control."

Rendon said that the priority at this time needs to be responding to threats to Californians' health care coverage from the bills seeking to change the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. Congress. He also noted that the organization supporting the bill, Campaign for a Healthy California, was seeking to put a single-payer initiative on the ballot and that they still had time to pursue that before November 2018.