The political battle lines over single-payer healthcare in California are growing starker, with an alliance of doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners and other health providers ramping up their opposition to the proposal.
In a letter to legislators, the coalition, unveiled Wednesday, blasted Senate Bill 562 as a proposal that “would dismantle the healthcare marketplace and destabilize California’s economy.”
The emergence of heavy-hitting healthcare groups such as the California Medical Assn., the California Dental Assn. and the California Pharmacists Assn. signals an escalation in the opposition to the legislation, under which the state would foot the bill for nearly all medical expenses of its residents. Up until now, the measure was primarily opposed by health plans and business groups. One member of the new coalition, Kaiser Permanente, has been vocal in its opposition to the bill for months, but the group’s other members have so far been muted in their criticism.
They’re squaring off against the ardent backers of the legislation, including the progressive flank of the Democratic Party and the California Nurses Assn., the bill’s sponsors. The nurses’ group will hold a Capitol rally on Wednesday to call for the bill, currently shelved in the Assembly, to move forward.
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