KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Price Tag For Universal Health Care In California Would Run $400B

A state Senate panel considering the measure says that money for existing public programs could cover half the cost of a single-payer system to cover all 39 million Californians. But the rest might have to come from new taxes — a serious political obstacle.

The Associated Press: $400 Billion Price Tag For California Single-Payer Bill
A California bill that would eliminate health insurance companies and provide government-funded health coverage for everyone in the state would cost $400 billion and require significant tax increases, legislative analysts said Monday. Much of the cost would be offset by existing state, federal and private spending on health coverage, the analysis found, but total health care costs would increase by an estimated $50 billion to $100 billion a year. That's a massive sum in a state where the entire general fund budget is $125 billion. (5/22)

California Healthline: Tab For Single-Payer Proposal In California Could Run $400B
A proposed single-payer health system in California would cost about $400 billion annually, with up to half of that money coming from a new payroll tax on workers and employers, according to a state analysis. The report by the state Senate Appropriations Committee, issued Monday, put a price tag for the first time on legislation that would make the state responsible for providing health coverage to all 39 million Californians. The state-run system would supplant existing employer health insurance in California, as well as coverage through public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. (Terhune, 5/23)

Sacramento Bee: Universal Health Care Cost In California $400 Billion A Year
The price tag is in: It would cost $400 billion to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal heath care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday. California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations Committee found. (Hart, 5/22)

KQED: Single-Payer Plan’s Price Tag In California: $400 Billion Per Year 
It would cost the state of California an estimated $400 billion per year to cover all of its 39 million residents, according to a staff analysis by the state’s Senate Appropriation Committee. That’s more than twice the state’s total annual budget of $180 billion. But the main legislative advocate for single-payer, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), explained the state could get access to half of that amount, $200 billion, by shifting over what it already spends on Medicare, Medi-Cal and other state-run health services. (Feibel, 5/22)

POLITICO Pro: California Lawmakers Get First Look At Single-Payer Cost: $400 Billion 
California’s universal health care bill could cost the state about $400 billion a year. Half of that could be covered by existing federal, state and local funding streams, but additional taxes would be required to make up the balance, according to a state committee fiscal analysis released Monday. While the bill’s financing has yet be worked out, the Senate appropriations committee’s report provides the first insight into what an audacious overhaul of the state’s health system could cost. It concluded that $200 billion would be needed in new taxes. (Colliver, 5/22)

San Jose Mercury News: Healthy California Act Annual Price Tag: $400 Billion
The annual price tag for California’s proposed universal, single-payer health care system would come to a staggering $400 billion and possibly trigger substantial tax increases, according to a state review released Monday. That eye-popping number means the cost of Senate Bill 562, known as The Healthy California Act, would be three times higher than the state’s proposed $124 billion general fund budget for next year. (Seipel, 5/22)

San Francisco Chronicle: Single-Payer Health Care Would Cost More Than California Budget
Creating a single-payer health care system in California would cost $400 billion a year — including $200 billion in new tax revenue, according to an analysis of legislation released Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The projected cost far surpasses the annual state budget of $180 billion, and skeptics of the bill say the price tag is “a nonstarter.” (Ho, 5/22)

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