Sacramento Dems should stop stunts – Daily Breeze
While Sacramento Democrats are seriously considering creating a single-payer health care system in California, they are not acting on it. Like the last legislative push for the single-payer five years ago, the latest effort appears to be nothing more than a political stunt aimed at grabbing headlines and fooling true progressive believers.
Case in point: Last week’s vote in the Assembly Appropriations Committee approving Assembly Bill 1400, the bill introduced by Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, which would create the single-payer “CalCare” system.
One would think that the creation of such a system would entail extensive legislative scrutiny. You would think that the Appropriations Committee, which exists to review bills that have a tax impact, could review legislation that would require hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases.
Instead, last Thursday, as George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times noted, “The contentious bill, AB 1400, passed through the House Appropriations Committee on a vote of 11 to 3 without any discussion. . Shameful.”
“How can a Legislative Tax Committee let a bill slip out of its committee without a funding mechanism?” wondered Republican Congressman Vince Fong of Bakersfield, according to Skelton.
This kind of neglect reminds us of the latest push for single-payer, Senate Bill 562, which was introduced by the senses. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.
The so-called “Healthy California Act” was even more catastrophic than the current effort and carried an estimated cost of $400 billion a year, which is more than the state budget. It also lacked a funding mechanism, but the state senate remarkably approved it anyway with a 23-14 vote.
Some Democrats at the time, like Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, had the good sense to reject the proposal because of its incompleteness. However, none of this mattered, as the bill was purely for show.
“This is a glorified political stunt that, if carried out with the same recklessness shown to date, could do real harm to the State of California,” this editorial board wrote of this effort at the time in 2017.
This effort is not much different.
Lara has used her spearhead comedic single-payer attempt to promote herself in her current office as insurance commissioner.
If Kalra and his fellow lawmakers who claim to be serious about single-payer are actually serious, they should do some serious work and demand full public scrutiny of their proposal.
Anything less than that is a joke and a slap in the face to good government.
Of course, there’s a reason Kalra and the other followers don’t want this. They know that the same public that rejected the split roll just two years ago will not accept the kind of crushing tax increases needed to fund a state government takeover of health care that can’t even properly distribute unemployment checks.