Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a bill to create a single-payer healthcare system for all Californians, including immigrants living in the state illegally.
State health insurers have long opposed such a government-run system, saying it could decrease access to quality care and lead to massive budget deficits.
One of the bill's authors, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) did not provide details on how the system would be funded. Lara says that he will examine the Legislature's past efforts, which have never become law.
"We know Californians fully support healthcare and health for all," says Lara. "We're in the situation now [of] responding to the looming threat from the federal government to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and we need to be prepared."
The proposals, which call for a tax on employees and employers, come as Republicans in Washington, D.C. promise to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.
The proposed single-payer system would be funded by the taxes levied on employers and employees combined with Medicare and Medicaid funds.