SACRAMENTO — California lawmakers approved a $400 billion-a-year program Thursday that would completely overhaul how Californians receive their health coverage by creating a single government-run, universal-care system for everyone in the state.
SB562, by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens (Los Angeles County), now heads to the Assembly, where it’s expected to face tough opposition. A legislative analysis said that about $200 billion could be raised from a new 15 percent payroll tax, which would require a two-thirds vote from both houses. The other $200 billion could come from existing federal, state and local spending on health care. But the federal government would have to approve any changes to Medicaid funds for the program.