If you think Obamacare was a disaster and cost too much money for what little you get, then you’ll just laugh and shake your head in unbelief when you hear about a single-payer healthcare bill, SB 562, that was introduced into the California Senate. The reality of this bill is so far-fetched that it makes Obamacare look feasible.
So, what is a single-payer healthcare system? Here is one source that defines it on a national lever. Just think one state instead of nation as you read:
“Single-payer national health insurance, also known as ‘Medicare for all,’ is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands. Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.”
Another source also describes a single-payer national healthcare system, but it will also help one to understand what a state system would be like:
Under the single-payer legislation in Congress (H.R. 676):
- Everyone would receive comprehensive healthcare coverage under single-payer;
- Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay;
- Employers would no longer be responsible for health care costs and coverage decisions;
- Single-payer would reduce costs by 24%, saving $829 billion in the first year by cutting administrative waste and allowing negotiation of prescription drugs; and
- Single-payer would create savings for 95% of the population. Only the top 5% would pay slightly more
From the two definitions above, it seems more than obvious that a single-payer healthcare system would be tremendously expensive for a nation and especially for a single state. That’s the hurdle that SB 562 co-sponsor California State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) has failed to explain how the state will overcome this monstrous hurdle.
It is estimated that SB 562, if passed, will cost the state of California around $400 billion. Knowing how most legislative bill estimates work, be assured that this bill will cost California far more than $400 billion.
When I described this as a monstrous hurdle, realize that the ENTIRE state budget is only $180 billion a year.
Opponents to the bill include State Sen. Tom Berryhill (R), who stated:
“We don’t have the money to pay for it. If we cut every single program and expense from the state budget and redirected that money to this bill, SB 562, we wouldn’t even cover half of the $400-billion price tag.”
Some supporters of SB 562 are trying to justify the expense, saying that $200 billion could be paid for by using all of the current healthcare expenses paid out by every level of government and that the remaining $200 would be raised by increasing taxes. YES! That’s the standard Democrat response for every bill that costs more than a government can afford – raise taxes.
California already has higher than average taxes just to pay for their annual $180 billion budget. To raise $200 billion a year more would mean the taxes California residents already pay will have to be more than doubled. Guess how that will go over with the people.
Now realize that a single-payer healthcare system is what many in Washington DC are pushing for. If it will cost just the state of California $400 billion a year, can you imagine the annual price tag for a national system to cover every state?
It is currently estimated that there about 325 million people in the United States. California has an estimated population of 39.8 million people, about 12.2% of the entire US population. Using that ratio and based on the cost estimate for just California, a national single-payer healthcare system would cost the United States government at least $3.28 TRILLION a year.
For 2017, the US government is scheduled to spend $3.65 trillion. It is estimated that the federal government will only take in about $3.21 trillion, leaving a deficit of $440 billion. Are you willing to pay at least double your annual federal taxes in order to pay for a single-payer healthcare system?
The cost of a single-payer healthcare system is completely unrealistic and a financial disaster waiting to happen. However, the California State Senate passed SB 562 by a 23-14 vote.