That single-payer, government-run, universal healthcare failed in radical left coast California (following the debacles in Vermont and Colorado) is old news now. But what isn't generally known is that it was the seventh time in 25 years that it failed in that state; and that this latest effort wasn't serious, but, as you will see, a sham by lying, hypocritical Democrat politicians to placate frustrated progressives that progress after so many years was finally being made in the journey toward healthcare heaven. A brief history of single-payer in the Golden State is instructive of just how false the journey has been and continues to be; and that single-payer has no future there or anywhere else in our country.
It all began in 1993 when Nick Petris, an obscure state Senator, introduced a single-payer bill in the legislature - it was ignored and got nowhere. Then two years later in 1994 a modified single-payer universal coverage plan passed both houses, but was vetoed by Governor Pete Wilson because of its costs. Then the following year Proposition 186, a ballot initiative for single-payer, was rejected by voters 73% to 27% (see and see). That was when Californians were still somewhat sane; for such a ballot would be the reverse today.
Then in 1998 bill SB 2123 calling for single-payer was introduced to the Senate where it led to a resolution calling for a study on its financial implications; it quietly died without explanation - but most likely because it was found to be financially unfeasible. Then five years later in 2003 (when Democrat Gray Davis was governor) single-payer reared its head for a fourth time in bill SB 921; after being approved by the Senate 921 like 2123 went down the road for financial analysis to see if it was viable. But after going through a refinement process of six amendments the state Assembly refused to vote on it, and like 2123 it died - sparing governor Davis from vetoing it (see).
But hope springs eternal. In 2005 state Senator Sheila Kuehl introduced bill SB 840 for single-payer which was approved by the Democrat led Assembly and Senate, but vetoed by then Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why? Because the Governator (as he was called) didn't want a bankrupted California to be his legacy. As he said, "Such a program would cost the state billions and lead to significant new taxes on individuals and businesses, without solving the critical issue of affordability [for health insurance]." In other words, SB 840 would be ruinous for state finances and the economy; higher across the board individual taxes means less money for consumers to spend on goods and services and the things they care about; and higher corporate taxes means either driving up prices (raising the cost of living), or driving businesses out of the state (see, see and see) greatly adding to the jobless rate. In short, No governor (Republican or Democrat) in their right mind would have signed such a bill.
But undaunted Senator Kuehl in 2007 reintroduced SB 840 to the legislature where it easily passed again, but only to be vetoed again by Schwarzenegger* for the same reasons cited above. Then in 2009 with Kuehl no longer in the Senate her colleague Senator Mark Leno took up the single-payer cause and reintroduced SB 840 as SB 810 (same bill different number). It passed the Senate but died in the Assembly where it was never put up for a full vote. What a joke.
*Schwarzenegger was falsely accused by progressives of killing the "perfectly fine bill that was going to save Californians billions" because he was "in the pocket of the drug, insurance and healthcare companies."
Now as it turned out SB 840/810 was such a fiscally and economically irresponsible piece of legislation that when pro-single-payer progressive Jerry Brown succeeded Repub Schwarzenegger the Democrats made no attempt at resurrecting it a third time and pass it again for Brown's signature. Why? Because it would have suffered the same fate of either being vetoed (this time by Brown and hurting him politically with his progressive base) or dying in the Assembly again. And, as we'll see below, this inaction on 840 was a sign it wasn't a serious piece of single payer legislation to overhaul California's healthcare system; but a partisan political football to appease the single payer crowd and hurt Governor Schwarzenegger with them.
SINGLE PAYER ILLEGAL ALIEN CARE
And now after 25 years of failure with California's voters, lawmakers and governors killing single-payer time after time (because of costs requiring huge unpopular tax hikes and greater spending, borrowing and deficits by the state) a new single-payer bill SB 562 was introduced and passed by the Assembly in June. But this bill (the most insane and reckless of all for its covering illegal aliens) wasn't even put to a vote by the Senate. Indeed, with an unfinanceable start up price tag of $404 billion (more than twice the state budget), $200 billion in annual costs and no mechanism to control costs state Senators wouldn't go near it, or dare pass it (as they did 840 twice under Schwarzenegger) and put Gov. Brown in the embarrassing and politically damaging spot of having to veto it - which he certainly would have done.
Progressive Governor Jerry Brown in Washington protesting the repeal and replacement of Obamacare while rejecting single payer government run healthcare as the solution.
Indeed, in March Governor Brown signaled that he'd veto any single-payer bill that landed on his desk when he asked reporters in a give and take: “Where do you get the extra money [to pay for single-payer]?... This is the whole question. I don’t even get.... how do you do that...You take a problem [millions with poor or no health insurance] and say I'm going to solve it by something [single-payer] that's even a bigger problem (a $404 billion problem see and see)?” Indeed, what Brown said in rejecting single payer as a solution was more or less Schwarzenegger all over again:
SINGLE PAYER AS A CURE FOR THE UNINSURED IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE!
Indeed, don't be deceived. SB 562 like SB 840 wasn't serious legislation to fix California's healthcare and coverage problems. If it was, to say the least, it would never have included free insurance for illegal aliens; for such a law would turn California into a massive medical magnet for sick people from Mexico and Latin America who'd come streaming across the border to get free care - and bankrupt the state ten times over. Indeed, like SB 840 562 was an empty shell with no substantive provisions; what it was, was political theater stating ideological principles* designed to appease not only single-payer activists, special interests and mooching free stuff losers, but the open borders crowd who believe in the right of any foreigner to live in this country and receive the benefits of full citizenship.
*After California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved SB 562 he gave the following interesting and revealing explanation: "SB 562 didn’t make any sense," he said. "It just didn’t seem like public policy as much as it seemed a STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES (see).”
That's exactly right; SB 562 wasn't a serious bill aimed at single payer healthcare reform; it was an ideological statement of progressive principles to placate (soothe the feelings of) angry leftists pissed that after so long progress wasn't being made toward single payer becoming reality.
SB 562 might be good politics for deceiving gullible west coast leftists who want to believe that state Dems are making progress toward achieving single-payer heaven; but it fails as serious healthcare legislation. Truth is if single-payer were affordable and practical Brown would have signed SB 840 when he took office in 2011; and California today would be the nation's first single-payer state leading the way toward nationalization. But like other progressive politicians on single-payer Brown only talks the talk when running for election; but is unable to make it a reality when in office because of prohibitive fiscal and economy wrecking costs. In short, SB 562 isn't "dead for this year" as the LA Times headline says. IT'S DEAD, PERIOD!
BUT WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT!
Though single-payer in California (like in Vermont) is financially and economically unfeasible and dangerous, crazy radical socialist crackpot Bernie Sanders (I-VT) nevertheless demanded that Gov. Brown throw caution to the wind and support 562 come what may. Keep in mind that this is the same Bernie Sanders who wants "Medicare for All" when "Medicare for Some (the elderly)" has $27 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and is going broke (see and see). Now If Sanders had his way in Vermont with budget busting, economy wrecking, single-payer Green Mountain Care (costing more than the state budget) he would have impacted the state with the destructive force of a category seven hurricane (see). That's how dangerous this unreasoning fanatic would be if he was Vermont's governor. Imagine him as President and the national catastrophe he'd cause.
You can't make this stuff up!