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In lieu of single-payer, CA lawmakers introduce 14 bills toward universal health care




The California state capitol building in Sacramento.
The California state capitol building in Sacramento.
Lori Galarreta/KPCC

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In lieu of advancing a single-payer health care bill, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon tasked lawmakers with creating an alternative package of healthcare bills to make universal coverage more attainable.

These 14 bills were released on Friday.

They’re meant to help people pay for insurance premiums, get health insurers to put more money towards patient care and expand Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented immigrants, among other goals. You can see a breakdown of the bills here.

The package of bills has received pushback from both directions. The California Nurses Association, a lead sponsor of the single-payer bill, says this is an impractical alternative to what should be a unified solution. The criticism from the other side is where the money will come from to pay for the proposed programs and coverage. Without a source of funding, it’s unclear whether Governor Jerry brown would approve the bills.

We get an explainer of this alternative plan to single-payer, as well as a discussion of the merits and drawbacks of this package of bills.

Guests:

Michelle Faust, KPCC health care reporter; her recent story on this is “Single-payer healthcare is a giant leap. Here are 14 steps California might take to get there

Richard Kronick, one of the authors of the report on pathways to universal coverage in California that served as the basis for much of the package of legislations; professor of family medicine and public health at University of California, San Diego

Sally Pipes, health care policy expert; president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based free market think tank