Could a single-payer bill pass this year?

The candidates for governor are debating the issue of single-payer care as they campaign. But the prospects for such a plan in the Legislature this year are virtually nil, which is one reason lawmakers are considering less comprehensive options.

Permission from the Trump administration would be needed before federal funds, such as the money that pays for Medicare and Medicaid, could be transferred into a state-run system that would absorb the patients in those programs. It is unclear whether permission would come: Federal officials said they don’t comment on pending or possible requests.

Although studies show that many families lack emergency funds, and the expense of a serious accident or illness can bankrupt the uninsured or underinsured, experts say the status quo works for most people, especially those who have insurance through their employers.* And that’s most Californians.

*This sentence was expanded for context 4/16/18