By Tim Hunt
Terrible single-payer health care bill under consideration in SacramentoUploaded: Jan 27, 2022
In my view there are several awful ideas circulating among the Democrats in Sacramento but among the worse is the stunningly ill-advised single-payer health system.
It’s nearly as bad as the absurd rationale that gave us Obamacare. Nationally, we had about 30 million uninsured, about 10% of the population at the time. Instead of focusing on the 30 million, Obama and the Democrats upset the health care system entirely, driving up costs across the board—but particularly for individuals and small businesses. Remember Speaker Nancy Pelosi telling members they had to pass the more than 1,700-page bill so they could read it and learn what was in it.
Democrats in the state Senate actually passed a single-payer bill in 2017, but there was no plan to pay for it. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon acted as the adult and refused to allow the bill to advance. That was a good call then and remains a good call today.
Hoover Institution Fellow Lee Ohanian, in his Jan. 11 column, points out that the largest uninsured group in California is 1.2 million illegal immigrants out of a population of about 40 million. So, naturally, the Democrats are ready to scrap the entire system to take care of a minority that is here as lawbreakers.
Ohanian points out that the state shrunk by 367,000 people last year and lost a Congressional seat as its population declined for the first time in history. Major businesses such as Tesla, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and others left for Texas, while others found new homes in Florida and Tennessee. The business flight reflects the families leaving.
That reality has not deterred the progressive Democrats in the Legislature. The proposed tax increases start with a per household hit of $12,250 that is a constitutional amendment that would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Legislature plus a vote of the people.
Democrats control 75% of both houses so they can bring it to the ballot with a party-line vote and a signature from Gov. Gavin Newsom. Despite easily beating back the recall last fall, it’s not a sure thing that he would sign such a bill despite his public statements during his campaign favoring it. He wants a future beyond California whether that’s in the U.S, Senate or a presidential run. The politics are dicey, at best, in a national campaign with the costly single-payer plan. Sen. Bernie Sanders has his fans, but they don’t include Independents and Republicans.
Incidentally, household hit just the start of the new taxes list that would high high-earners hard as well as business owners.
So, stay tuned. The single-payer bill goes to committee early next month. Fortunately, there are many hurdles that must be cleared, but party-line votes are a possibility. That said, members facing re-election in competitive districts may well think twice and then some about voting for this measure.