Friday, March 03, 2006

Socialized Medicine in California

This is among my greatest fears:

A plan to outlaw private health insurance in California has been proposed by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles). Senator Kuehl's bill, SB840, proposes to create the California Health Insurance Agency, a state government run single payer system for financing the health care of all Californians. Her bill, if enacted, would abolish all private health insurance in the Golden State. Her legislation essentially aims to replicate the system of socialized medicine in Canada which, until a recent court ruling in Quebec, made all private health care illegal. Her health care proposal is more authoritarian than the health care systems in the United Kingdom or Germany in which citizens can buy private insurance if they so choose.

Remarkably, Kuehl's proposal to socialize California's health care is being made just at the time when the Canadian system it resembles is falling apart at the seams....

Looking at the fine print, you find that Kuehl's government-run single payer system will be cheaper because it will actually ration health care. In other words, decisions about what treatments will be available to Californians and when they will become available will be in the hands of government health care bureaucrats....

Kuehl plans to finance the California Health Insurance Agency through a dedicated payroll tax in which employers would pay 8.2 percent and workers would pay 3.8 percent. And when the system runs short of money, as it inevitably will, the new health bureaucracy will impose cost control measures that include the "postponement of introduction of new benefits or benefit improvements; a temporary decrease in benefits; a postponement of planned capital expenditures, and limitations on aggregate reimbursements to manufacturers of pharmaceutical and durable and nondurable medical equipment." Translation: California health care bureaucrats, not doctors or patients, will be deciding what new treatments will be offered; what new hospitals and laboratories will be built; and what new drugs and new biomedical technologies will be permitted in the state.

Today, as the Canadian health care system implodes, more and more Canadians are seeking private medical care across the border in the United States.

Lefties will always ignore the facts because results don't matter to them. Only feeeeeeeling good matters to them. This is probably worse even than Meathead's universal preschool idea.


L'oiseau rebelle said...

I'm originally from the other side of the Pacific, from a city with (relatively) accessible and high quality health care. I know of Canadians who fly across the ocean just to get access to timely and affordable health care, instead of waiting 2 years for a bypass.

Darren said...

But the Canadian health care system is the *model* system for the American left, just as Quebec's (failed) dual-track bilingual education is the model for lefty American bilingual educators.

rightwingprof said...


Damn you. That's running through my head now and it won't go away.

KauaiMark said...

Calif. effectively killed private earthquake insurance the same way.