Legislation to create a single-payer health care system in California was sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file today, delaying action on the bill until later this week.
After hearing from a long line of supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 810 this afternoon, committee members added the legislation to a list of costly proposals that are set to be considered on Thursday.
The bill, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, does not include any taxes or fees to cover the cost of the system, which would be run by a new state agency. A fiscal analysis pegged the annual cost of the bill at $200 billion to $250 billion.
Supporters, who say the proposal would simply shift $200 billion already spent on health care annually to a new system, cast the bill as an effort to lower cost for consumers and expand access to coverage for medical care. Opponents argued that the government should not get more involved in health care and that the proposal could end up making costs higher.
Similar legislation died on the Assembly floor in the 2009-2010 legislative session. Another version that was approved in both houses in the 2007-2008 session was vetoed by then GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.