California democrats have figured out that federalism is the key to getting single-payer health care implemented.
Single-Payer for California
Lawmakers in the Golden State are considering a bill, SB562, that will transform the state’s healthcare system.
The measure would guarantee health coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for all residents of California, including people living in the country illegally. Private insurers would be barred from covering the same services, essentially eliminating them from the marketplace. Instead, a new state agency would contract with health care providers such as doctors and hospitals and pay the bills for everyone.
The state would negotiate directly with doctors and hospitals without competition from other payers. California could then strong-arm providers into much lower payments for services likely leading to issues with access.
Insurance companies have begun an effort to derail the proposal.
“A single-payer system would make the quality of our health care worse, not better,” California Association of Health Plans President and CEO Charles Bacchi said in a statement. “We’ve made substantial progress in expanding and increasing access to and quality of care – this step backward would be particularly devastating for Californians.”
The effort faces serious challenges as it seeks to replace coverage for everyone in the state. Illegal immigrants, those on Medicare and Medicaid and employees covered through their jobs would be forced into the system. The costs will be astronomical likely requiring tax hikes which require 2/3rds passage by the legislature.
Californians have the chance to put their money where their collective mouths are. Single-payer will spread throughout the nation if it lives up to the progressive hype. But the idea will fade if it instead pushes California towards bankruptcy while limiting access to health care.
This kind of experimentation was precisely what was intended by the nation’s founders. Each state operates as an independent government that may try bold ideas if their citizens will it.
Single-payer is a progressive dream. They shouldn’t push it on the rest of the country if they can’t do it in the liberal bastion of California.