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Single-payer healthcare legislator hits California Senate floor: 5 points

California Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) introduced a bill to the state Senate last week that would create a single-payer healthcare system, according to Kaiser Health News.

Here are five points:

1. Officials introduced similar legislation in the past, but it failed to gain momentum. KHN reports this bill is a preliminary step in starting a single-payer healthcare program in the state.

2. While those in favor say the bill would make healthcare affordable and efficient, opponents say such a system would increase taxpayer costs and would give more power to government officials.

3. Sen. Lara says the state must prepare for a possible ACA repeal. In May 2015, the state implemented the Health for All Kids Act, which gave coverage to 170,000 illegal immigrant children. Sen. Lara's legislation would work to build upon the 2015 bill.  

4. No other state has implemented a single-payer system. In 2014, Vermont legislators proposed a single-payer healthcare system but the plan did come to fruition. State officials could not come up with a viable plan to finance the system.

5. The California Nurses Association is the bill's primary sponsor and is organizing a rally in Sacramento, Calif., this week to advocate for the bill. Bonnie Castillo, the group's associate executive director, told KHN the bill would aim to reduce patients' financial burden and include everyone in the state's healthcare system.

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