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Universal health care bill fails to pass in California

Universal Health Care
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 23:10:07-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill that would have created the nation's only universal health care system has failed to pass the California Legislature.

On Monday, the state Legislature was expected to vote on AB 1400, a bill to create "CalCare."

The bill had to pass by midnight on Monday to have a chance at becoming law this year. But the bill never came up for a vote.

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Democratic Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who authored the bill, said it did not have enough support to pass.

The California Nurses Association condemned the decision, accusing Kalra of giving up on patients.

In addition to primary health care, CalCare would cover prescription drugs, medical devices, mental health services, dentistry, vision care, emergency services and transportation, hospice and skilled nursing facility care, dialysis, and pre/post-natal care.

“Despite heavy opposition and substantial misinformation from those that stand to profit from our current healthcare system, we were able to ignite a realistic and achievable path toward single-payer and bring AB 1400 to the floor of the Assembly. However, it became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage and I decided the best course of action is to not put AB 1400 for a vote today. Although the bill did not pass the Assembly by today’s deadline, this is only a pause for the single-payer movement; our coalition, including the mighty California Nurses Association, will continue the fight for accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare for all Californians. I have been honored to shepherd this bill through the legislature and it could not have happened without the support of Speaker Rendon and AB 1400 co-authors. The facts are on our side that a single-payer system will save money and lives—and the people are on our side that meaningful healthcare reform is urgently needed. Especially with four democratic vacancies in the Assembly, the votes were not there today, but we will not give up. Healthcare is a human right and CalCare has made clear the just path as an alternative to the inequitable system we have in place today.”
Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose)