California Democrats Kill Health Care Reform Bill

California State Assembly on January 31, 2022. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./CalMatters

On January 31, a California State Assembly bill to create a single-payer healthcare system was killed before coming to a vote. The bill, AB 1400, was introduced in 2021, and needed to pass the Assembly by the January 31 deadline to continue through the legislature.

Health care costs have been rising due to the for-profit system in the United States. The high costs of health care lead many people to have to beg other people on the Internet for health care funds, go into debt and bankruptcy, or forego health care entirely. Three million Californians now have no health insurance.

AB 1400 would have improved the health care situation in California by creating a single-payer system, similar to having Medicare for everyone. This would allow all California residents to have health care coverage free of charge.

However, the bill was opposed by business interests, including insurance companies and hospitals, who lobbied against it. They would lose control over the health care system, and thus their profits would decrease, if AB 1400 passed. Instead of taking a stand against corporations who profit from the health care system, the Democrat-controlled legislature did not support the bill, and so it was allowed to die even before coming to a vote which would have shown the alignment of individual Assembly members on this issue.

As this episode shows, the Democrats work for big business. We cannot rely on them to give us a health care system that works for us, because the Democrats do not work for us. If we want a system that works for us, not one that exploits us for profit, we must fight for it and build it ourselves.