Legislative Update

Single-Payer Healthcare Bill Is Withdrawn Due to Opposition

rotunda state capitol ca

The Assembly was poised to vote January 31 on AB 1400 (Kalra), a bill proposing a government-run healthcare program that would cost taxpayers an estimated $365.5 billion per year, but the author withdrew the legislation and announced that it is dead for the year.

CalTax is part of a large coalition that opposed AB 1400 because it would have required the largest tax increase in California history, which would increase consumer costs and damage the state’s economy and competitiveness.

“It became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage,” Assembly Member Ash Kalra said in a written statement.

The decision was made on the deadline for the bill to clear the Assembly or be declared dead for the year, so the bill will not advance.

AB 1400 does not include tax-increase provisions, but includes language making enactment of the single-payer system – dubbed “CalCare” – contingent on passage of a funding mechanism. Proponents recently introduced ACA 11 (Kalra) as a funding source, but its current slate of tax increases (including a gross receipts tax on businesses, a payroll tax on employers and employees, and a personal income tax increase) would leave nearly $200 billion in uncovered additional costs.