Single-Payer Healthcare Estimated To Cost Nearly Double California's State Budget

Erika Turner
May 24, 2017

Moreover, even if Brown signed the bill into law, a Republican-led Congress would have no reason, or interest, in making sure the federal government cooperated in the program. As Vox details, "the state would pay for nearly all of its residents' medical expenses-inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care-and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles".

The plan would cover all residents of California, including illegal immigrants, and users would not pay any premiums, copays, or deductibles, the Los Angeles Times reported. That's enough to cover about half of the $400 billion cost, according to the legislative analysis.

"This bill would require unprecedented changes to a mature healthcare system", the legislative analysis states."Therefore, there is tremendous uncertainty in how such a system would be developed, how the transition to the new system would occur and how participants in the new system would behave".

A single-payer system likely “would be more efficient in delivering health care, ” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It came hours after a raucous convention of the California Democratic Party, during which ascendant left-wing activists loudly demanded taxpayer-supported universal health care coverage. Backers of the legislation are hopeful for a vote in the full Senate next month and then lawmakers could continue to work on the financial aspects during the summer.

One tiny, insignificant detail: there's no way the state can afford this.

Business groups and health insurers spoke out in opposition, saying it would lead to massive disruption and escalating costs. "How can you possibly say this is going to be fiscally prudent for the state of California, not a burden for the state?" “I dont want California to move toward a program that is not sustainable and one that we cant manage, ” Bradford said. If adopted, California would become the first state in the country to institute a single-payer system. We have billions in unfunded pension and health care liabilities, a worst-in-the-nation poverty rate, long-term debt and a growing housing crisis.

Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar proposal last fall amid widespread concerns about the cost. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Other reports by Insurance News

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