California Legislature Seeks Unified Health-Care Bill

August 4, 2003 ( - A new conference committee in the California legislature has been charged with drafting a compromise bill of four different health-care proposals in an effort to expand coverage to uninsured residents.

Members of the state’s legislature are concerned that unless provisions of the four separate bills are unified, fracturing among the voting delegates will result in no health-care bill going through for the legislature’s approval by the time it adjourns in September, according to a Sacramento Biz Journal report.

However, the committee is not working from scratch. Among the four bills that will be used as a basis for the compromise legislation:

  • SB 2 – would require employers to provide health benefits to workers and their dependents or pay into a state fund as part of a public-private financing system for expanded health care coverage (See CA State Senator Wants Workers To Have Insurance ).
  • AB 1527 – similar to SB 2, but initially exempts small employers.
  • AB 1528 – uses the same approach as SB 2, but would require individuals without insurance to buy it. In addition, it establishes a government subsidy program for individuals and small employers who cannot afford it (See Universal Healthcare in California Proposed ).
  • SB 921 – establishes a “single payer” state-run insurance program to replace existing coverage.