California has a plan for a dramatic change in health care

Californians could see a major overhaul of health care policy as the state looks to advance a new bill that promises universal coverage.

The state has already introduced laws that would bring universal health care to residents, but so far, none have been successful.

The new bill, AB 2200, calls for a single-payer system called CalCare, and would provide benefits to Californians regardless of their financial or work history.

Read more: Compare the best health savings accounts

“The bill, among other things, provides that CalCare will cover a wide range of health benefits and other services and would incorporate the health care benefits and standards of other existing federal and state provisions, including the Federal Health Insurance Program for children, Medi-Cal, auxiliary health care or social services covered by regional centers for people with developmental disabilities, Knox-Keene, and federal Medicare,” the bill says.

Mammoth Hospital emergency room nurse Kory Ferguson, right, hands skier Sharon Harrison, left, a pain reliever after she badly injured her ankle in a fall at the slopes of Mammoth Mountain on Friday, March 15, 2024…

Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Like bills, the law could run into hurdles because of its cost. It is likely to cost the state between $494 billion and $522 billion, and that could reduce its support to make it past legislative debate.

However, some believe the state is more ready to accept the bill and its price, with more lawmakers in favor of single-payer systems in charge than in years past.

“I think coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing a desire for people to have more health care. I think there’s been a lot of change in opinion and more and more people are committed to making sure people don’t have to suffer or die. because they pay to go to the doctor,” Rep. Liz Ortega told Politico.

While this type of healthcare system is a staple of many European countries, no other US state has approved anything similar. If the bill makes it to the state legislature, then it would need to be signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“The bill has the obvious issue of financial viability, but in addition, medical providers will have to agree to see patients with the universal health care option,” said Chris Fong, Medicare expert and CEO from Smile Insurance Group. Newsweek. “If approved, this will provide health care to many Californians who choose not to have health insurance because of high premium costs or who do not know they could qualify for Medi-Cal or a low-premium California coverage policy “.

Kaivan Shroff, a political strategist and public interest lawyer, agreed that the bill will likely struggle to make it out of the Senate.

“The bill has not passed in the past and I expect it will face a similar fate despite a steady turnover of the state legislature since then. The state proposed this law because everyone deserves access to healthcare,” Shroff told Newsweek. “Still, while the recent pandemic has made the need for access to care more apparent than ever, there are practical disagreements about costs and efficiencies that could sink the bill as written.”

California also passed a new rule this week that would limit annual price increases to just 3 percent for doctors and health insurance companies starting in 2029.

This rule hopes to curb costs for patients as health care spending in the United States has reached record highs. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care spending more than doubled in 2022 from two decades ago, reaching a whopping $4.5 trillion.

“Making quality health care affordable is a top priority for our administration,” Newsom said in a statement. “This action is a crucial first step forward in our efforts to reign in outrageous health care costs and make health care more affordable.”