California Democrats revive universal health care bill

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California Assemblymember Ash Kalra, right, listens as Jennifer Morgan, center, discusses the issues she had with health insurers, following a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Thursday, Jan. 6. Kalra, a Democrat for San Jose, unveiled a universal health care bill that would raise taxes on some businesses and individuals to pay for it. AP photo/Rich Pedroncelli photo
Adam Beam The Associated Press What could be the nation’s first universal health care system found new life Thursday, Jan. 6, after California Democrats proposed steep tax hikes to pay for it, prompting strong opposition from insurers, doctors and Republicans at the start of an election year. Progressives in California’s Democratic-dominated state Legislature have long called for a universal health care system to replace the one that mostly relies on private insurance companies. But their plans have often stalled over questions about how to pay for it in a state with nearly 40 million residents. Assemblymember Ash Kalra proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would impose an annual tax of 2.3% on businesses that have at least $2 million in annual revenue, plu
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