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Healthy California Makes Strange Bedfellows

What’s inside the Healthy California act? “It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage program and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state” (Californians For A Healthy California Act SB 562).

Ironically, California state politicians hope for the failure of Obamacare from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Liberal proponents argue Obamacare is proof that the private market cannot solve California’s health care problems. Conservatives argue Obamacare is proof that government regulation only makes California’s health care problems worse. It’s a “cluster.”

The Trumpcare-Obamacare fiasco in Washington captures this irony perfectly.  However, while national media makes money selling advertising on Washington politics, a committed group of Californians hope to steal the cake by convincing disgruntled Californians they are better off with a government-run plan for Californians.

The Healthy California Act:

SB 562 will move health care coverage to one publicly-run plan that covers everyone who lives in the state. Every California resident will have one plan.” [California Senator Ricardo Lara’s Legislative Fact Sheet].

  • Private Insurance through your employer would be replaced by a government-run plan
  • Nearly 40 million residents of California would be covered by a single plan
  • Traditional insurance premiums would be replaced with contributions based on your payroll and income

Although proponents are borrowing words from a federally-funded program when they use the phrase “Medicare for All,” in actuality, SB 562 contains no details at all.  Yet, a February 17th San Jose Mercury News story hints that the timing is right, while acknowledging this has been tried before, and failed.

And from the Los Angeles Times: “…seems like wishful fantasy, even in deep blue California.”

It remains to be seen if enough Californians would really give up their employer-sponsored coverage to take a chance on SB 562. Ironically, would enough millionaires be willing to give up their $15,000 annual Obamacare subsidies to vote for SB-562? Yes, it’s true: millionaires are receiving large Obamacare subsidies, because of the expansion of Medicaid via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act i.e. Obamacare. Political opponents make strange bedfellows.

Read related story:  The TrumpCare Legislative Process Begins