“Absolutely nothing has happened with the bill,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Los Angeles-area Democrat, says of the high-profile Senate measure to establish single-payer health care.
Rendon shelved the bill last year, after it passed the Senate, calling it “woefully incomplete,” because it does not specify how the state would would seek federal approval, bypass constitutional spending limits and cover as much as a $400 billion cost.
Six months later, the speaker says the status of Senate Bill 562 remains the same.
“The sponsors of the bill have sat on their hands and done nothing for the past six months,” Rendon says. “None of the authors have made any significant amendments.”
Those pointed words about the sponsor refer to the California Nurses Association, the liberal union known for flashy and no-holds-barred advocacy of its causes. After the speaker shelved the bill, the union’s leaders posted an image of a knife sticking out of the California bear—with Rendon’s name on it.
The speaker says he’s more interested in developing a universal health care proposal, which could mix government and private coverage options, rather than focusing solely on a single-payer system.
An Assembly Committee is meeting again next week to discuss universal coverage legislation.