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published on January 31, 2022 - 4:37 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) announced his proposal for single-payer health care in California has not passed a key legislative deadline in Sacramento.

His bill, AB 1400, was estimated to cost taxpayers at least $356.5 billion annually to pay for the health care of nearly 40 million Californians.

“Despite heavy opposition and substantial misinformation from those that stand to profit from our current healthcare system, we were able to ignite a realistic and achievable path toward single-payer and bring AB 1400 to the floor of the Assembly,” Kalra said in a statement shared by reporters on social media Monday afternoon.

“However, it became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage and I decided the best course of action is to not put AB 1400 for a vote today.

Monday was a key deadline to keep the bill alive this year. It had previously passed out of two Assembly committees.

Earlier this month, Democrats filed a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would impose hefty new taxes on businesses and individuals to pay for the system. The taxes would generate roughly $163 billion per year, and the amendment would give lawmakers the power to raise those taxes to keep up with costs.

“A vote for this bill is naturally a vote for the taxes that come along with it,” said Preston Young, a policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce who is leading a coalition of 130 companies against the bill. “Health care costs continue to increase, so the tax obligations correlated with it will go up as well.”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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