Single-Payer Health Care Would Cost $400 Billion Annually in California

Covered California
Covered California

A new legislative analysis released on Monday found that a single-payer “socialized” health care system would cost the state of California $400 billion per year — three times the current annual budget of the state.

The analysis, released by the State Senate Appropriations Committee, considers legislation proposed by its chair, State Sen. Richard Lara (D-Bell Gardens), known as SB 562, the “Healthy California Act.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that the analysis found:

  • “A total cost of $400 billion per year to cover all healthcare and administrative costs.
  • “Of that, $200 billion of existing federal, state and local funds could be repurposed to go toward the single-payer system.
  • “The additional $200 billion would need to be raised from new taxes.”

Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown proposed a record-breaking $124 billion state budget, and warned of possible future deficits.

An analysis by the State Senate Health Committee last month found that California currently spends $367 billion on health care expenditures annually, of which 71% is already paid for by the federal, state and local governments.

California Democrats have long hoped for single-payer health care, in which the government pays for everyone’s health care expenditures. The state party’s 2016 platform promised to “[s]upport and implement universal comprehensive health care for all Californians that includes medical and dental care, full reproductive health services that respects a woman’s right to choose, preventive services, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment.”

Gov. Brown, however, has opposed single-payer health care in the state because of its cost. In a March interview with the Los Angeles Times, Brown quipped: “How do you do that?” He added: “You take a problem and say I’m going to solve it by something that’s even a bigger problem, which makes no sense.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.