May 23, 2017

In California, America’s West Coat nature preserve for loons, there’s a big push to declare health care a “human right” (for the record, in case you’re ever a pageant contestant, rights are God-given; nothing can be a “right” that requires coercing other people into providing it to you) and institute statewide single-payer health care.

The state Senate Appropriations Committee commissioned a study on how much that would cost, and the numbers are in. Financial analysts estimate that creating a publicly-funded universal health care system would cost approximately $400 billion a year, or more than double the entire state budget of about $180 billion. Proponents say the $100 to $150 billion currently being spent on health care benefits by employers would help offset the expense. Great, then it wouldn’t lower health care costs for employers at all, plus taxpayers would have to pony up an extra hundred billion a year at bare minimum. They also might want to ask Vermont and Tennessee just how accurate initial cost projections are for vast expansions of state health care benefits. Or look at other nations with single-payer systems for a frightening preview of what happens to the quality of health care when the money runs low.

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California’s Chamber of Commerce said the single-payer plan would “result in significant loss of jobs,” and a spokesman for the California Association of Health Plans called it “massively, if not prohibitively expensive.” Most surprisingly, the Sacramento Bee said the cost analysis “is seen as the biggest hurdle to create a universal system.” Since when has the crushing cost of anything been seen as a hurdle to the California legislature?

Still, $400 billion a year (to start) is so obviously, ruinously unaffordable that even California politicians may be forced to abandon their dream of a state single-payer system and fall back on Plan B: Demanding that Washington implement one nationwide.



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  • Peter Nguyen

    05/30/2017 03:28 AM

    Trump’s plan would cause almost 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage.

  • Thomas Topolski

    05/23/2017 06:59 PM

    We spend nearly 18% of our GDP torwards Healthcare. It hasn't gone down in over 60 years (six decades). Our "for profit" system takes from healthy people who make payments and avoids sick people who lose their jobs due to illness and can't make premium payments and as a result are dropped or go bankrupt trying to get the lifesaving treatment for a loved one or themselves. The return on investment can only be realized by the healthcare industry when they find ways to remove, avoid, or creatively disqualify people who miss even one payment. Single payer doesn't have to be like any other country does it? America can make our single payer reflect the best from every system and doesn't need to reinvent the wheel. Our healthcare system hasn't worked in sixty years so why would any one think it can be?