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Friday May 20, 2022

Universal health care bill advances in California Assembly


Nepalnews
2022 Jan 12, 12:14, Washington

California Democrats on Tuesday took their first step toward abolishing the private health insurance market in the nation’s most populous state and replacing it with a government-run plan that they promised would never deny anyone the care they need.

But the proposal that cleared a legislative committee in the state Assembly is still a long way from becoming law. It faces strong opposition from powerful business interests who say it would cost too much. And even if it does become law, voters would have to approve a massive income tax increase to pay for it — a vote that might not happen until 2024.

Still, Democrats hailed Tuesday’s vote for jumpstarting one of their goals and signaling they won’t back away from a fight even during an election year. In an hourslong hearing, some lawmakers and advocates assailed a health care industry they say has benefited corporate interests at the expense of consumers.

Ady Barkan, a 38-year-old married father of two, was diagnosed with ALS six years ago and now is mostly paralyzed. He testified at Tuesday’s hearing with the help of a computerized voice that spoke as he typed using technology that followed the movement of his eyes. Barkan said he has battled his private insurance carrier to get treatment he needed, including suing them to get a ventilator that keeps him alive.

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