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As Sanders Delays National Single-Payer Debate, CA Nurses Keep the Heat On the Legislature

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
07/11/17  11:10 AM PST

By Katy Murphy for The San Jose Mercury News

SACRAMENTO — The day after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told CNN he would delay the release of his universal health-care plan until the Affordable Care Act debate has ended in Congress, the sponsors of a similar California proposal are keeping the heat on a legislative leader who moved to block it from advancing this year.

The California Nurses Association and other supporters held a rally at the Capitol Monday, staging a sit-in outside the Assembly chamber, to pressure Speaker Anthony Rendon to change his mind and allow the state’s single-payer health care bill to move through his house.

“This is a bill that could be the change for health care in this country,” said Kathy Dennis, a registered nurse from Sacramento’s Mercy Hospital, who was among the demonstrators. “We will keep pursuing single-payer health care for all because this is about access.”

Despite intense pressure, the speaker has not signaled he will change course on Senate Bill 562, by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, to create one, government-run health care plan for all Californians. The plan would include seniors on Medicare, the undocumented and those with private health insurance. Under such a plan, Californians would see their premiums, deductibles and co-pays disappear and their taxes increase.

In early June, the state Senate passed SB 562, but the bill did not include key details, such as how the plan would be financed.

Few in the Capitol expected the bill to pass this year, given the complicated health care and tax implications and Gov. Jerry Brown’s publicly-expressed skepticism. Still, when Rendon announced that he was sending the “woefully incomplete” bill back to the Senate for more work, supporters unleashed their frustration on the Democrat, calling his act undemocratic and “cowardly” and accusing him of caving to industry groups.

Read the Full Article at The San Jose Mercury News


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