Universal health care bill reaches deadline in California
A bill in California that would establish a government-funded universal health care system is approaching a critical deadline.
California Democrats must decide whether to move forward with a bill that would make the government pay for everyone's health care in the US's most populous state on Monday.
The move is considered a key test of whether one of their most long-awaited policy goals can overcome ferocious opposition from business groups and the insurance industry.
The state legislature is considering a plan that would establish the nation's first statewide universal health care system.
A long way is ahead before becoming law, nonetheless, legislators in the Assembly have one more chance to revive the bill this year on Monday.
It is worth mentioning that the bill would establish and regulate a universal healthcare system, but it would not fund it. Another bill would accomplish this. It has a separate due date and does not need to be completed before Monday.
Nonetheless, cost worries will most likely dominate Monday's debate. According to the most recent estimate, paying for the health care of roughly 40 million residents would cost taxpayers at least $356.5 billion each year.
This year, California's overall operating budget is around $262 billion, which covers public schools, courts, roads and bridges, and other critical services.
Democrats filed a proposed amendment to the state Constitution earlier this month that would levy significant new fees on businesses and individuals to fund the system.
The taxes would bring in about $163 billion per year, and the amendment would allow Congress to boost them to keep up with rising expenditures.
This year's election will not be easy. While some Democratic leaders and big labor unions favor the initiative, it faces fierce opposition from corporate organizations, who are pressing more moderate Democrats not to vote for it.