California Continues March Towards Single Payer, With Still No Means To Pay For It

California Continues March Towards Single Payer, With Still No Means To Pay For It

Remember when Democrats used to screech about unfunded mandates during the George W. Bush years? Good times, good times.

(LA Times) A proposal to adopt a single-payer healthcare system for California took an initial step forward Thursday when the state Senate approved a bare-bones bill that lacks a method for paying the $400-billion cost of the plan.

The proposal was made by legislators led by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) at the same time President Trump and Republican members of Congress are working to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.

“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate on the bill.

So, wait: you mean the Democrat Party passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, didn’t work? Even in California, which 100% embraced this government plan? Huh.

“We don’t have the money to pay for it,” Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) said. “If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB 562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the $400-billion price tag.”

The plan was, unsurprisingly, passed on a party line, and leaves it up to the California House to figure out just how to fund it. Good luck with that, champs. Coming up with a few million is one thing: around $200 billion or more? Even if California is provided a waiver for the $200 billion in Medicare through a federal waiver (question: which way would Trump go?) and uses their own $25 billion Medi-Cal funds, that still leaves a reported $106 billion to create, under the best case. But, we know this is government, and that the cost would balloon.

The Central Valley track for California’s bullet train is around $3.6 billion over budget and 7 years behind schedule. The latest estimate for the whole high speed train project is a mere $24 billion over initial cost. Think on that.

Why did Senate Dems do this?

(CBS News) The measure would have died if it failed to clear the Senate this week. Democrats said they wanted to keep it alive as the Assembly tries to work out a massive overhaul of the state health care system.

And what happens when doctors and medical facilities realize their reimbursements are going down down down? (Via Ed Morrissey)

(LA Times) “Doctors would no longer have to deal with…hundreds of payers,” Lighty said. “You now have a single payer who will pay reliably or swiftly.”

Depending on how the program decides to reimburse for care, that could affect how much providers get paid. Lighty said the program would likely use the same rates as Medicare, which is less than what commercial insurers pay but more than Medi-Cal.

“Imagine what will happen if physician reimbursements fell by 15 to 20%, and those same reimbursements did not fall in Washington, Oregon, Arizona — [states that] are not implementing single-payer,” Lakdawalla said. “What happens to the population of doctors practicing in California?”

How many leave? How many increase their appointments but decrease the time spent with patients in order to make up that money? And we all know government is swift in payment, right?

But, hey, this is their choice. That’s one of the things States’ Rights is about. I hope they don’t expect the rest of us to pay for this boondoggle.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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