Thursday, August 31, 2006

And....ANOTHER Reason!

SoCalist alert! California has passed a bill eliminating all private forms of healthcare in the state. The only thing that bars this from completion is Arnold's veto (the state senate must concur, but they have already done so once):

On a largely party-line 43-30 vote, the Assembly approved a bill by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would eliminate private medical insurance plans and establish a statewide health insurance system that would provide coverage to all Californians. The state Senate has already approved the plan once and is expected this week to approve changes that the Assembly made to the bill.
This kind of system (i.e. Marxian) has been tried all over the world with dismally bleak success rates -- take Canada, for instance, about which the Pacific Research Institute writes:
Incentives matter, and one need only examine the incentives of the Canadian system to predict the results: inefficient use of resources and severe rationing of expensive procedures. Patients consider health care to be free. They pay for it for sure. Canadian doctor and author David Gratzer..., estimates that the system costs each Canadian 21 cents for every $1 they earn, which translates into $7,350 a year for a person earning $35,000. But they don’'t pay for it when they use it. The result is an overuse and inefficient use —of primary care facilities.
Here's some info about the bill:
  • SB 840 would create the "California Health Insurance System" to be administered by an autonomous agency, the "California Health Insurance Agency," under the direction of the "Health Insurance Commissioner" who would be elected for terms of eight years.

  • SB 840 would establish the "California Health Insurance Agency" as the sole primary provider of health insurance coverage for all California residents.

  • SB 840 would prohibit all current health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies from being sold in California because they would duplicate services provided through the "California Health Insurance Agency." Individual health care service plans or insurance companies would only be able to sell medical or health services in California that the "California Health Insurance Agency" does not provide.
Oddly enough, as Dafydd points out, this hasn't hit any of the major papers (not even the LA Times).

It is astonishing how low this bill and the illegal-alien drivers' license bill have flown under the radar. I make no doubt of the reason why: because Californians, while leaning liberal, notoriously despise both HillaryCare and also giving illegal aliens a government ID card they can use to fake legal residency. So no wonder the elite media -- which "has bones in the fight," as a (legal) immigrant friend of mine said a long time ago, when she was still learning English -- are doing their bestest to keep mum about the bills.

The Democrats will happily tout their leftism at the appropriate venues: fund raisers, rallies, and speeches to the nurses and prison-guard unions. No reason to let real voters find out just how radical their own state senators and assemblymen are!

For instance, check the Google results for SB840 and SB 840. Without the blogosphere, this story would be a non-story.

Far from achieving health care for all, SB840 would likely create a class-oriented system where the upper class could afford going out of state for healthcare (at extra cost) while the lower and middle class would be forced to rely on the inept state-sponsored system. Pretty soon the Hollywood big shots will be flying into Vegas for their yearly checkups. Organized healthcare is for the masses, don't you know?

Without competition, the services offered by the state will surely suffer in quality in no time. The big loser in all of this is the middle class -- they'll lose their health insurance coverage that they work for, will pay more taxes, and get worse service. And O! the joy that everyone above poverty level will be subsidizing the hundreds of thousands of low- or non-income folks who won't be paying a dime to cover themselves (i.e. leeching). The proposed cost is 8(!) percent hike onto the payroll tax that businesses pay and 3 percent onto state income taxes.

Not to mention the bloated government agency this would spawn, along with all the other joys of bureaucracies that come with such packages. And the best part? The state assembly didn't even address the costs of this lovely new SoCalist system. The bill calls for a slow rollover over the next few years. The assemblymen can only serve 6 years -- so they made the law but won't be held to task for the effects. That is legislative survival-of-the-fittest at its best.

Beware -- if this passes, look for other socialist healthcare activists to start poking their heads up all over the country.


rightonq said...

I'm a big reader of BigLiz too and had the same reaction you did upon reading about this. In some ways, I think it would be interesting to see how it actually works. I don't think it will, but I'm open to trying new things.

The problem I believe will be, assuming Arnold signs it (BIG IF), that we won't ever really know.

- people with enough money will just cross the border if necessary.
- people with no money that don't pay taxes anyway are getting something for nothing
- the middle class will get some good things and some bad things and will ultimately have no voice since the reason for this bill is not to help them anyway.
- studies will show... whatever the heck you want them to show.

One this is for sure, taxes will be high to start and higher as the cost balloons just as medicare has.

A friend of mine that supports socialized medicine used to say that "free" healthcare isn't like giving away free beer - it's not like people WANT to go to the doctor. While that might be true, when anything is free, people do not regulate their use of it at all and it will be overused. People will complain that X and Y are not covered, and they will add new procedures. and so on.

Anyway, my biggest thing - which also goes for SS - why does the gov't need to put this in place for EVERYONE. If people are entitled to Welfare for certain reasons, can't we make healthcare "free" to just those that need it so as to at least LIMIT the cost. I think part of this doctrine of socialized medicine wants to make sure that everyone, regardless of wealth, gets the SAME healthcare and I just don't see why that has to be an outcome. (man, I'm long-winded!)

k2aggie07 said...

Long winded but effective. I appreciate your comments.

I agree with you -- in some ways, I want to see it pass just to see it fall flat on its foolish face.

I have a big problem with the gov't (state or national) holding people's hands and doing things for them. People don't need to be pampered; its not good for us as a society. Castrating our independence will inevitably lead to a loss of freedom. We're becoming sheep, and this is just another step in that direction.

3agsmom said...

Being in the healthcare billing industry, I can attest to the fact that California's state run plans (such as Medicaid and Worker's Compensation) are a quagmire of red tape and very slow to pay compared to the same entities in other states. I can just imagine what a nightmare it would be for them to process all the healthcare claims for the state.