California is the mad scientist of bad policy – San Bernardino Sun

If the United States is the 50 laboratory of democracy, then California is the mad scientist of far-left policies. That was made clear last week as some of the session’s most controversial bills attempted to pass Congress and move on through the legislative process.

From the bill imposing an “industry-wide minimum standard” on wages, hours and working conditions at fast food chains (which unfortunately passed the Council and now the Senate) to the forcing owners of rental-controlled apartment buildings to stay in business for at least five years – even if they lose money (which fortunately didn’t attract enough support), radicalism of the Legislature remains fully expressed. But those measures are a small potato compared to Council Bill 1400, which would have required the state to provide health care coverage to residents, after abolishing all private health insurance. and Medicare.

Fortunately, AB 1400 also didn’t get enough support on the Council to go through, but we might see it again. The state’s Democratic Party has added single-payer healthcare to its platform, and the California Democratic Progressive Convention has vowed to disapprove of any candidate who opposes the service. single-payer healthcare.

That is why it is important to clarify why such a proposal should never be reconsidered. First, the taxes required to implement such a program would be extraordinary. The author of AB 1400 proposed raising taxes to $163 billion a year, but the actual costs could be as high as $391 billion per year, according to a staff report from the Council’s Appropriations Committee.

For reference, total health care spending in California is, from all sources, estimated at $330.7 billion in 2021, and the governor’s proposed 2022-23 budget is just $286.4 billion and that includes our existing state health plans – plus everything else. But the truth is, even the Appropriations Commission’s estimate may be too low. A look at the results of the state’s Medicaid expansion shows that the state’s “free” health care program could cost Californians far more.

Under the Affordable Care Act, many states, including California, have extended their Medicaid coverage to adults in good health with incomes below 138% of the poverty level – a subgroup of the population. previously uninsured – and spending and enrollment have increased in large part due to the epidemic. In California, Medicaid accounts for one-third of total state spending.

Enrollment and spending estimates for these expansion programs have exceeded projections in every state. “The cost of Medicaid is going higher than anyone expected and is starting to increase dramatically,” said then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now imagine the state taking on everyone. California is the mad scientist of bad policy – San Bernardino Sun

Tom Vazquez

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