While much attention has been focused recently on federal health care policy, California lawmakers have advanced a bill to create a new “single payer” system here, one that would take insurance companies out of the picture altogether. Advocates for the bill made the case for it at a Town Hall meeting in Healdsburg last night.
Expanding health care to all California residents under the Healthy California Act is projected to cost the state about $400 billion per year, or roughly 10% more than is being spent now. Deborah Burger, president of the California Nurses Association, says that difference would ultimately be offset by savings under the centralized system, but it would also rely on some targeted new taxes.
Sonoma County has already made significant efforts to improve the overall health of its population, says Sebastopol family practice doctor Veronica Jordan. Yet the county would still see further benefits if the single payer bill becomes law.