Single-Payer Healthcare Estimated To Cost Nearly Double California’s State Budget

SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com/AP) — State experts say a California bill that would provide government-funded health coverage for everyone in the state would cost $400 billion – roughly twice the amount of the state’s entire annual budget.

The Legislature’s financial analysis released Monday says much of the cost would be covered by existing state, federal and private spending on health coverage. But the analysis says total health care spending would increase by $50 billion to $100 billion a year.

The entire state general fund budget is $125 billion, while the proposed 2017-18 state budget stands at just over $183 billion.

Senate Bill 562 would eliminate traditional insurance companies and guarantee coverage for everyone. The state would contract with health providers and pay the bills for all residents similar to the way the federal government covers seniors through Medicare.

The concept known as single-payer has energized liberals who are pushing Democratic lawmakers to approve the measure.

But healthcare companies, business leaders, and the California Chamber of Commerce have come out against the plan as a costly job-killer.

“It will cost employers and taxpayers billions of dollars and result in significant loss of jobs in the state,” the Chamber of Commerce said in its opposition letter.

“A single-payer system is massively, if not prohibitively expensive,” said Nick Louizos, vice president of legislative affairs for the California Association of Health Plans.

The bill must be approved on the state Senate floor by June 2 in order to advance to the Assembly.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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