California Legislature Rejects ‘Medicare for All’ — Again — Over Costs, Deficit

medicare for all
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

The Democrat-dominated California state legislature has once again rejected a proposal to create a single-payer health care system — socialized medicine, or so-called “Medicare for All” — due to the high cost amid budget deficits.

The idea of a government-run, publicly-funded health care system has tempted left-wing Democrats for decades. In 2016 and 2020, it was the centerpiece of the presidential campaigns of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). And elements of that socialist ideal have, in fact, become part of the American health care system under Obamacare.

But despite the Democratic supermajority in both houses of the California state legislature, the idea failed — again.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday:

The latest attempt to bring a single-payer healthcare system to California failed in the state Legislature on Thursday, undercut by its steep price tag as lawmakers struggle with a mounting budget shortfall.

Assembly Bill 2200, named Guaranteed Health Care for All — or CalCare — hoped to set up a universal single-payer healthcare system for all residents of California, but it died on Thursday in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San José) said he was “deeply disappointed” that it died so early on.

CalCare was projected to annually cost the state $392 billion. Meanwhile, California is grappling with a $45-billion deficit.

Two years ago, flush with cash from federal coronavirus relief spending, and with tax revenues from a Wall Street boom, California had a $100 billion budget surplus, fueling utopian dreams.

Even then, California failed to pass a single-payer system, as it had done before, over concerns about the staggering cost of the proposal. The State Senate passed a single-payer bill in 2017, but the State Assembly refused to take it up.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), once a fan of “Medicare for All,” says that climate change is partly to blame for the rapid budget crash, because a series of winter storms last year caused delays in tax filings, while the state continued to spend money that it simply did not have.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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