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As we noted, failed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been pushing California to establish what he calls “single payer” health care. This is a misnomer for several reasons, particularly on the issue of cost. As legislators recently learned, the price tag is $400 billion a year to cover all health and administrative costs, twice as much as California’s entire state budget.
“Where do you get the extra money?” governor Jerry Brown wonders. No “single payer,” not even Bill Gates, has that kind of dough. Since politicians must tap taxpayers, “single payer” is really “multiple payer.” Taxpayers are looking at an additional $200 billion in taxes, as Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee notes, “the equivalent of a 15 percent tax on all of Californians’ earned income layered on top of existing income taxes” and “nearly as much as the state will collect this year in income and sales taxes with the nation’s highest tax rates.” So the slogan should be “let’s have the wallet, Jack.”
In reality, “single payer,” is government monopoly health care. In this plan, the multiple payers get only the health care government wants them to have. Contrary to politicians’ claims there is no “right” to health care, even in Canada’s government monopoly system. Backers of government monopoly health care for California include Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, insurance commissioner Dave Jones, and the prime mover is Sen. Ricardo Lara, Bell Gardens Democrat. The loudest voices come from government employee union bosses.
RoseAnn DeMoro of the national nurses’ union appeared with Bernie Sanders, when he made his pitch. Government monopoly health care would empower the union to negotiate with the single payer of government, in the style of the California Teachers Association with the K-12 government education monopoly. True to form, the California Nurses Association threatens to take out Democrats who refuse to play along. Taxpayers would do better to heed governor Jerry Brown’s take on “single payer.”
“This is called ‘the unknown by means of the more unknown,’” he told reporters. “In other words, you take a problem, and say ‘I am going to solve it by something that’s … a bigger problem,’ which makes no sense.”