The California Legislature has voted to tax people who refuse to buy health insurance, bringing back a key part of former President Barack Obama’s health care law that has been eliminated nationwide by Republicans in Congress.
The state Assembly and Senate approved the tax on Monday, sending it to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. Newsom proposed the tax in January and is likely to sign it.
The federal Affordable Care Act required everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. But in 2017, Republicans in Congress eliminated the penalty beginning this year as part of an overhaul to the federal tax code.
California will join Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington D.C. as the only governments in the U.S. to penalize people who don’t buy health insurance.