California’s fiscal suicide.

Caroline Elam holds up a mock prescription order calling for passage of SB562, a single-payer health care bill, during a march to the Capitol Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 4/28/17


As GOP House members confront the difficult and politically dangerous task of dismantling Obamacare – a process that is more and more attributable to the fact that Obamacare is collapsing – the state of California is now considering a statewide single-payer health care system.

It’s all in Senate Bill 562, called the “Healthy California Act” (and who doesn’t want a healthy California?). If passed, it would entirely replace private insurance in California with a single-payer government health insurance system. That system would cover all 38 million of California’s citizens – as well as its however-many million undocumented aliens.

To any objective observer – objective being defined as anyone willing to do 6th grade math – the bill is nothing less than an act of state suicide. California is already in deep financial trouble. The state is carrying a massive debt – the highest of all 50 states – as well as unfunded public pension liabilities that approach $1 trillion by some estimates.

There is no way that California can afford universal health care even if it was a good idea, which it’s not. The necessary taxes will only hasten departures from the state by both businesses and individuals. California cannot afford any such exodus (or put more correctly, any more such exodus). Each taxpayer that departs leaves his or her portion of the state’s current and future obligations to be covered by those left behind; who, thus saddled, begin weighing up the idea of departing themselves. It’s a fiscal death spiral.

All of this aside from the fact that the people in California most touted as likely to benefit from universal health care will be the ones most unhappy with it if it ever comes.

Certainly Jennifer Aniston and Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand – any or all of whom can likely be counted on to appear in the TV commercials in favor of SB 562 – will be the least affected. Our favorite rich, liberal Californians will go right on seeing the very best doctors and getting the very best attention and care because they can easily afford to pay the bills.

But everyone else – from the merely wealthy to the upper middle class and all the way down to the very poorest in the state – will find themselves waiting weeks and months for care that was once available on demand. When the state becomes the payer, meaning when consumers stop having to reach for their wallets even to pay a portion of an insurance premium, demand for services will immediately outstrip supply with no chance of ever regaining market equilibrium.

Californians will then discover what observant Brits have known for decades. No matter how much public money you spend on health care, it is never enough. Anyone willing to see it will discover – again – that to the degree that something is important to you, you want the government far, far away from it.

And we’ll all have to watch California – once envied as the wealthiest, most successful and most vibrant state in the union – sink into fiscal oblivion.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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8 Responses

  1. Richard Anderson says:

    Socialism has failed–and miserably failed–everywhere it has ever been tried. And single payer “is socialism.”

    No financial bilge pump will be able to pump fast enough to bail out California “if” it should make the “grandiose mistake” of going down the financial sink hole of single payer.

    American Free Enterprise Capitalism is “the best way ever devised by mankind for the prosperity of all,” period. It’s about FREEDOM, that which our grand country The United States of America is built on. Let’s keep it strong and Free, one nation under GOD.

  2. If there must be this train wreck in California, and California liberals seem determined to have one, let’s hope the people of Texas and elsewhere watch and learn a good lesson from the the carnage. Great column as always.

  3. L Miles says:

    Who created the nondescript term “Single Payer” and what does it really mean and why do we keep using it to camouflage the true facts that your personal health becomes the property of the government as illustrated below.

    Given that your health is owned by a monopolistic, dictatorial, government, it is free to dispense health services as they see fit. You have NO rights to secure medical services of ANY kind without their approval (as dictated by a medical bureaucrat) and subject to punishment if you disobey their orders. You are not a patient of a medical professional anymore. You are a resource to be maintained by government rules and regulations as managed by designated “Doctors, etc.,” that act as the bureaucrats of the Medical Enforcement Agency (my term).

    Since you have surrendered your right to secure and be responsible for your own health care (formerly in a free market), you have become a Healthcare Serf, totally dependent on an entitlement system, subject to the whims of Socialist politics. Is there any doubt that total Socialism/Marxism in every respect will dominate ALL life in the new Socialist America? RIP: “land of the free and the home of the brave”.

    This is the MORAL argument against Socialized Medicine, not that it doesn’t work. Any tyrannical government can make it work if it has the strength to enforce it. Your productivity (taxes) can be directed to make it work and to avoid “fiscal oblivion”. Furthermore, who has cared about the $20 trillion in new debt in the last 8 years if it were politically expedient to buy your vote with favoritism? Whether you have Quality Healthcare is not your concern, anymore, and you’d better be cooperative to stay in good standing and don’t be caught complaining about it. You have swallowed the Socialist “fish hook” of free healthcare. Get it? Sadly, half of weakly employed Americans and 98% of welfare recipients (including illegal aliens) would welcome its benefits, regardless of the consequences.

  4. Linda E Montrose says:

    This is what obamacare was all about to start with. A single payer system IS socialism and so against what this Country is all about. I say cut off all government funding to California and let them wallow in their own filth. If they want to coddle the ILLEGALS, let them on their own dime and not mine or yours! Let the hollywood elite pay for the healthcare of those out there since they are all for socialism…that means taking from them to pay for everyone else in their state.

  5. Jena Smith says:

    If the government controls healthcare, it will control the people. They will be able to determine whos gets what. This is a dangerous, slippery slope

  6. Jane Doe says:

    No one has even mentioned repealing Medicare, which is one of the largest single payer healthcare systems in the world.

  7. L Miles says:

    Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes are collected together as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. Medicaid is pure Welfare paid for by the national debt/deficit and taxpayers of current and future generations. Both are financial poisons with incurable results unless we get back to Constitutional antidotes. They are both destined for the inevitable conversion to Socialized Medicine, happily called “Single Payer”, an innocent and well meaning term used to fool the population of those ignorant of the evils of tyranny, masking itself as benevolence.

    If only we could stop using these Socialist terms since there are many young people that need to be educated in the TRUTH. For example “undocumented immigrants” are officially “illegal aliens” as defined by law. Without a virtuous, moral, and true compass, necessary for maintaining a Constitution government, Freedom and Liberty cannot survive.

  8. Son says:

    I like this bill (HR562), Jerry Brown and Pelose’s bunce deserve to hit rock bottom.

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