California Thinks the Solution to Obamacare’s Failure is More Government
While the United States Senate works on its changes to the House-passed American Health Care Act, the California Legislature carries on its absurd plight for single payer health care. Up for a vote on the state Senate floor this month, SB 562 would give California the Bernie Sander’s style Medicare for all plan.
The Healthy California Act essentially gets rid of private insurance and makes the government the de-facto single-payer. The real kicker? The new health care plan’s yearly price tag is double the state’s own budget.
A California Senate Appropriations report estimates the bill to cost $400 billion a year. Current federal and state funding accounts for $200 billion of the cost, leaving the state looking for another $200 billion in revenue, likely to come from increased taxes.
While California has long pushed for a complete government takeover of the healthcare industry, the level of public support, about 70% of Californians, raises cause for concern. Like every other push for another “free” government program, the rhetoric sounds nice until the economic reality sets in.
Aside from the fact California is already one of the most heavily taxed states in the country and this plan requires billions more in tax increases each year; single-payer health care will bring reduced access to and quality of health care. Why? Government’s inability to allocate resources like the market does.
Heritage Foundation research points to the structural problems with Medicare to illustrate why expanding this system nationwide or statewide won’t provide relief to either patients and doctors.
For example, government payments to Medicare providers fall significantly short of market rates forcing doctors to refuse new Medicare patients. Expanding this model by eliminating competition from private insurance removes any incentive for people to spend years obtaining an expensive degree that never pays off and leaves patients in a health care system void of talented professionals, advances in medicine, and access to quality care.
The solution to Obamacare isn’t more government. As the U.S. Senate drafts their bill to repeal Obamacare, they must finally get rid of the government regulations which raised premiums and distorted the market. The same guiding principle that government interference won’t result in affordable or quality care should also apply to the way the Senate addresses Obamacare’s subsidies and ending the Medicaid expansion.