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Single-Payer Health Care System Would Take Years to Develop in California, Legislative Report Says

Several hundred people in Sacramento marched in support of a single-payer healthcare system on May 19, 2017. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Several hundred people in Sacramento marched in support of a single-payer healthcare system on May 19, 2017. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

As progressive activists clamor for California to push ahead a sweeping single-payer health plan, a legislative report released Tuesday cautioned that such an overhaul would take years.

The report, which marks the end of months of Assembly hearings on paths to achieving universal healthcare, lays out a number of options lawmakers can pursue in the near term to improve how Californians get and pay for healthcare.

The report estimated that a healthcare overhaul that would cover all Californians under one system with public financing — including those who are insured through their employer and Medi-Cal or Medicare — would probably be a multiyear process to determine what kind of benefit would be provided. It would include how the system would be paid for, how to overcome state constitutional hurdles and how to obtain necessary permission from the federal government.

“The combination of all those factors led us to think it could not happen tomorrow, even if there were complete consensus in the state” to enact such a policy, said Richard Kronick, a professor of family medicine at UC San Diego and one of three authors of the report.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.