By Tim Hunt
More craziness in SacramentoUploaded: Jun 6, 2017
The California Senate has rushed into uncharted waters with stunning and irresponsible haste last week.
The Senate, on a largely party line vote, passed unprecedented legislation authored by Democrats Richard Lara and Toni Adkins that would abolish private health insurance in the state and replace it with a single-payer government plan.
Mind you—this bill was introduced this year. It’s June and the Democrats in the Senate believe this absurd legislation—backed by the California Nurses Association (a union)—should become law.
The bill that passed last week did not identify any funding for a bill estimated to cost $400 billion. For comparison, the General Fund in the state’s budget is about $124 billion. If you say YIKES, you’re right.
The Senate faced a deadline for moving the bill to the Assembly so a majority of the Democrats jammed it through. Dems have two-thirds majority in both houses. When it comes to paying for the measure—which will require a tax increase—that will require all Dems in both houses to sign on unless some Republicans sign on.
Here’s hoping there are enough rational members in the Assembly to scuttle this terrible bill. The Senate seems to “Feel the Bern” and thus discards any semblance of thoughtful decision making.
Consider, an article in the East Bay Times on June 1 reported that Planned Parenthood was closing three clinics in the East Bay. The cited reason was the shrinking reimbursement from the state of California for coverage for patients on Medi-Cal. For me, seeing three abortion clinics close is good news.
That said—the reason should give great pause to anyone embracing the Senate’s folly. Over the years, I have come to understand from health care professionals and those trying to seek care for poor people that Medi-Cal is a disaster. Many physicians simply refuse to take Medi-Cal patients (it hasn’t changed with the expansion of Medi-Cal under ObamaCare). Their reasoning is simple: the reimbursements are so sub-standard compared with Medicare and it’s so difficult to get paid, avoid it.
Some physicians who did accept Medi-Cal patients simply wrote off the visit instead of trying to collect.
And, that’s the system that 23 Senators believe all Californians should rely upon for health care.
You also should mix in the union influence. It would have a seat on the board that governs the system. Talk about foxes in the hen house.
The governor may be a final backstop on this bill—but there’s no telling with Jerry Brown. Time to let Assembly members know just how crazy this bill is and that it is well past time to bury it.