California Watch Posts

California Lawmakers Kick Off Health Care Hearings

October 24, 2017

As California health care officials brace themselves for changes to the Affordable Care Act by President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress, state lawmakers today and Tuesday will hold a hearing examining the gaps in coverage and financing of California’s current system. Among the topics expected to be front and center is single-payer health care and Senate Bill 562, introduced earlier this year by Senators Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. That controversial proposal would replace California’s private health insurance market with a single, government-run plan with no premiums or deductibles for nearly 40 million Californians. Though the bill passed the Senate on June 1, it has been put on hold by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon because it does not include details on who would pay the $400 billion price tag for switching to a single payer system — in particular, the $200 billion gap after existing state and federal health care dollars are exhausted. Already, the two leading Democrats running for governor are sharply divided over how to achieve universal health care. Their differences were highlighted Sunday at a union-sponsored forum in Anaheim. Read More

Trump’s Executive Order: What it Means

October 17, 2017

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday morning that he said would begin “saving the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.” On Thursday evening, he announced he would stop making scheduled payments to insurance companies that help them lower deductibles for low-income customers. There’s a lot that’s still uncertain about how the two actions will change the health law. Here’s what we know so far. Read More