I understand that our progressive friends want single payer health care where government manages it all. However single payer is not all that glamorous when you read the ugly stories in Canada and the United Kingdom about their system. It was predicted that the Affordable Care Act was basically training wheels for Single Payer because right now the system is ready to derail big time in the next few years. Certain states are going to have NO insurance company as part of their health care exchanges because insurance companies are unwilling to partake in the government system no matter if it is federal or state managed.
Enter SB 562, California’s effort in having a single payer health care system. Co-written by Senators Lara and Atkins it is called the “Healthy California Act”, where the authors strive to improve access to health care. I agree that something should be done when insurance premiums are approaching almost 10 thousand dollars for a family. However, the bad point of the bill is no private option.
The health plans that people rely on will be shuddered thanks to this legislation. Many people in California love Kaiser Pernamente due to it being the Mercedes Benz of health care plans. With this new law, we will be forced into the government system or if you are wealthy you would have to go out of state to pay cash for the health care you need.
The big fear of SB 562 is the reimbursement rates, I would expect to see a health care provider shortage when doctors decide to either retire or move out of California. Medi-Cal currently has a provider shortage due to reimbursement rates. The Democratic Party would likely need to have programs where if one gets educated at the UC medical school they would be required to take care of patients in the state program for a decade in exchange for a modest salary.
I think the authors of SB 562 need to go back to the drawing board and come up with an idea like Medicare Part C and D and the Australian health care system. Government cannot do it all despite many believing it can. Public option can coexist with a Private option.
Fiscally, even if we are paying a 9% tax to help fund the program, will it be sustainable? States such as Vermont crashed and burn when they tried single payer. The California Public Employee Retirement System also has funding shortfalls as well. I am skeptical of California politicians managing money if I trusted Bernie Madoff to manage my portfolio.
Also, the new California tax is regressive when it comes to low income workers. One would be paying the unsubsidized price before ACA subsidies which would take away money that one may need for their car payment or groceries. Democrats are criticizing Trump for doing similar things.
Due to the Super Majority this bill is likely to pass no matter if you like it or not to infer from a quote from Gavin Newsom when he was speaking how equal marriage rights was inevitable. However, this bill needs to go back to the drawing board. We need to come up with solutions to improve the supply of medical providers, how would the authors deal with the issue of big health care networks controlled by the private sector deciding to shut down where private hospitals such as Kaiser Pernamente will fold in California, how would the authors make the payroll tax equitable to low income workers.