Cailfornia Potentially Making Universal Healthcare a Reality


Policy Prescriptions

This is a Universal Healthcare rally in New York held by the American Medical Student Association

Alex Alonso, Reporter

On January 6th, 2022, California Democratic state assembly member Ash Kalra announced that he will reintroduce legislation that would implement Universal Healthcare in California. It was previously proposed on February 19th, 2021, but was unable to gain support in the state assembly because of cost. It recently has gained traction after Karla was able to find a way to pay off the new healthcare system. Yahoo News quotes Ash Karla’s statement, “The bottom line is that the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation on Earth should join other nations in assuring healthcare for everyone.”

This new healthcare system, named CalCare, would replace the current healthcare system, Medi-Cal, as it would make sure everyone has access to free healthcare. However, the state would raise personal and business taxes to afford to pay for CalCare, which costs 163 billion annually. Many supporters of this bill argue that the benefits outweigh the downsides as it includes the same benefits that Medi-Cal covers, such as dental, vision, etc., while also focus on protecting more services like emergency services that would be expensive without government healthcare.

The main difference between CalCare and Medi-Cal is that Medi-Cal is a public option for healthcare. CalCare is Universal healthcare, meaning everyone gets this type of health coverage. Therefore, it would involve little to no private insurance companies covering medical costs. However, Medi-Cal would be less expensive than CalCare as it’s optional unlike Universal Healthcare where everyone is covered under that program.

It is considered a big step for the movement to get Universal Healthcare in the nation as California has a good chance of passing this legislation due to their supermajority in the state government. The legislation will be sent to the State Senate on January 31st, so the state Assembly members are quickly debating these topics. But if this legislation passes, it will provide a trial for the United States on this healthcare system which could help one side of the argument on the debate of Universal Healthcare—creating a new future for the American Healthcare system and the future of the United States.