Universal Health Care Fails In California

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in California, Health Care, United States

Why? Because the Democratic legislature thought it cost way too much. Interesting twist, no?

The question I have is if California can’t pass it, will this spell doom for a national healthcare initiative?

From WSJ:

The idea was that Mr. Schwarzenegger would set a national precedent, leading to a groundswell for reform in Washington. Not to mention that the Schwarzenegger plan was a near-copy of the one Mitt Romney pioneered in Massachusetts, and the one Hillary Clinton now favors. A leading author of the California plan was Laurie Rubiner, who directed health policy at the New America Foundation before becoming Senator Clinton’s legislative director in 2005.

So much for that. The California legislature is probably the most liberal this side of Vermont, and even Democrats refused to become shock troops for this latest liberal experiment. Mr. Schwarzenegger and Democrats in the State Assembly did agree on a compromise plan in December. But on Monday, only a single member of the Senate Health Committee voted to report the bill to the full chamber — and thus it joined a graveyard full of state “universal” health-care failures.

Like collapses in Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, this one crumpled because of the costs, which are always much higher than anticipated. The truth teller was state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, who thought to ask about the price tag of a major new entitlement amid what’s already a $14.5 billion budget shortfall.

Personally, I don’t think this bodes well in a post-Bush world. His spending was out of control, and fiscal discipline is going to be top-of-mind in this country next year. The Republicans will be able to use this failure as a wedge between fiscal conservatives and the Dem candidate, and it’ll work.

Still, the argument has to be made that in order for us to truly realize the ownership society that Republicans push, we need the universal health care safety net. Because there’s no way that idea will be realized if people are scared that one illness has the potential to completely undo what they’ve taken years to build. Just won’t happen, and it’s not happening, as we see our median incomes going down when adjusted for inflation and small business ownership going down too.

In short, America needs a safety net, but unless somebody can convince Americans that the cost is worth the realization of the ownership society, I don’t think it’s going to happen.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008 and is filed under California, Health Care, United States. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Universal Health Care Fails In California”

  1. Jim S Says:

    Another positive for a universal health care safety net is increased career mobility and ability to start your own business without worrying about health care for themselves or their family. I posted an idea about it here.

  2. ShortWoman Says:

    Please note: the California plan was never “universal health care”, but rather “mandatory health insurance.” There’s a big difference. One has been more-or-less successfully implemented in almost every developed nation. The other has only been tried in Massachusetts.

  3. Elisabetta Says:

    From a MA’s resident that opposes what is being sold under the slogan of “universal healthcare.”
    Thumbs up for CA for not letting the bill pass. CA’s bill was based on MA’s blueprint and for us living in the Bay State it’s a nightmare in capital letters.

    I have written about this before, but it appears it needs repeating for those that live in fantasyland.

    First of all, No State has the right to order people to get health insurance and then penalize them when they don’t b/c premiums are unaffordable outrageous.

    Secondly, the State underestimated the people who were going to get it for free. Out of about 500 thousands uninsured, at least 300 thousand won’t pay for it. Almost double the initial estimation.
    For the 200 thousands left, they will have the “privilege” to pay through their noses just to support the others that don’t or they can disregard the mandate and be penalized! What a Dobson’s choice that is!

    As of mid-December MA was already over budget by $147 millions because of the huge number of people that got it for free. Also, many businesses found (good for them!) loopholes so they won’t be penalized for not providing insurance for their employees. Otherwise, they might have gone under and that would have caused loss of jobs.

    Furthermore, MA’s Connector, the means by which the uninsured are supposed to get their own insurance gets a 5% fee for every policy it sells.

    Now, we the citizens of MA that are affected negatively by this mandate are spreading the word about the truth on this scam and are working on a petition to obtain a congressional briefing. There is a public hearing on Feb 4 in Boston and I plan to attend.
    MA’s legislature and all their cohorts have pulled a fast one and we must fight it.

    MA’s Connector has the gall to write (on their website) concerning the penalty guidelines: “We hope they will help encourage people who can afford to buy it and enjoy its many benefits.”
    Translated, “ We hope you are intimidated and rush to buy insurance so we and the insurance companies can make lots of money off your back.”

    Fact check. “Universal health care” in other countries is paid through people’s income taxes. As someone who has lived overseas, they aren’t cheap!

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