Timeline: Single payer in California
Health care reform activist Dan Hodges has written a comprehensive history of the single payer movement and legislation in California. He updates it regularly. This is an excellent review and a wonderful resource for new members.
Amid momentum in Washington to repeal Obamacare, Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) co-author SB 562: The Healthy California Act.
Covered California health policies begin coverage
Health coverage began for Californians enrolled in Covered California. The uninsured rated went down from 16 percent to 11 percent in the first year.
Covered California's first open enrollment
Covered California's first open enrollment period began in October and runs to April 2014. Californians who signed up for coverage got insurance starting in 2014.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the comprehensive health reform law that came to be known as Obamacare, on March 23, 2010. Later that year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzennegger worked with the California legislature to create the Covered California Exchange.
SB 840 returns, same fate
Senator Kuehl bought back an amended version of the universal single-payer bill, only to have it vetoed again by Gov. Schwarzenegger.
Senator Sheila Keuhl made another attempt to bring a universal single-payer health care system to the state. This one made it further than any other attempts, passing both houses of the legislature. It was then vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Senator Sheila Keuhl introduced a bill to create a universal health care system for California. It was the first in a series of health bills she would move through the legislature. It passed the senate and later died in committee.
Senator Diane Watson, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, co-authored SB 2123 to have the Legislative Analyst's Office investigate financing options for a universal single-payer health system for the state. It died in committee.
California voters soundly defeated Prop 186, which would have created a single-payer health plan for California. The California Nurses Association was integral in pushing for the initiative, which would have replaced the exisiting system of health insurance programs.
SB 308 was similar to SB 2868. Petris succeeded in getting the bill through both houses of the legislature, but it died because the state Senate rejected the Assembly's amendments.
Governor Jerry Brown mentions single-payer in Democratic presidential primary
In 1992, Gov. Jerry Brown made a bid for president. During a Democratic primary debate, he said, "I believe the only health care system that makes any sense is a single-payer system, similar to what has been adopted in Canada."
Senator Nicholas Petris made the first of two similar bids to create single-payer health care. It would have used General Fund appropriations to pay doctors rates similar to Medicare reimbursement. SB 2868 died in committee.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1972 would have created a universal single-payer health plan for California. It called for no deductibles, co-payments, or limits. The funding mechanism would have used a mixed of property, payroll, and income taxes. It died in committee.
The Health Insurance Act proposed a single-payer state-run system financed by a combination of a personal income tax and a payroll tax. It included a plan to request a waiver to use federal Medicaid and Medicare funding to help pay for the state program. It died in committee.
Reagan speaks against Medicare
As Washington considered plans to create Medicare, then-actor Ronald Reagan gave a speech encouraging Americans to write their Congressmen to reject the plan. Reagan described Medicare as a step towards socialism.
Gov. Warren encourages legislature to act
In his inaugural address, Gov. Warren encouraged the legislature to create its own bill to create universal health coverage in California.
Assemblyman George Collins presented AB 863 on behalf of Governor Warren. It would have created a single-payer prepaid health plan. This is the fourth push the governor made for health care in the legislature. It died in committee.
Earl Warren served as California governor from 1942-1953. In that time, he made several pushes for health care reform in the state, including universal health care. The first (AB 800, Wollenberg) was a single-payer fee-for-service system that would be funded by a payroll tax. It died in committee.
Prop 20: The California Health Insurance Program
California voters rejected a proposition that would have created a health care program for the poor.