A California Senate committee tasked with reviewing bills that spend state money passed a $400 billion universal health care proposal Thursday with no funding plan.
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced SB 562, a sweeping overhaul of the state’s health insurance market. He’s also the chair of Senate Appropriations. The committee passed the bill with a 5-2 vote during a fast-paced suspense file hearing, clearing the way for it to be taken up on the Senate floor next week.
The vote came days after the committee revealed the Legislature’s first cost assessment of the bill, which turns out to be more than the entire state budget for the year beginning July 1.
Lara has yet to reveal a detailed plan about how the state would come up with the money to provide health care to the nearly 40 million people living in California. Opponents argued that the funding issue should have been addressed before the committee voted on the measure.
“This is the biggest government expansion of a health care system ever, with the exception of maybe the ACA,” said David Wolfe, the legislative director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.