Some leftists are so angry at California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) for blocking a vote on a single-payer, government-run health care plan that they have been sending him death threats for days.
The bill, the Healthy California Act (SB 562), passed the California State Senate earlier this month. The bill has a price tag of $400 billion — many times larger than the current state budget — but no plan to pay for the new system.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) urged California: “Please lead the country and pass the single-payer bill.” But Democrat Governor Jerry Brown was skeptical, wondering openly how the state would ever manage to afford to pay for it.
Rendon supports single-payer in theory, but said the bill was “woefully inadequate,” according to the San Jose Mercury News: “[I]t does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls or the realities of needed action by the Trump administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.”
In return, he has begun to receive death threats. Rendon told the Sacramento Bee that he and his family have begun receiving threats through social media, including one that advised him to check “his schedule for baseball practice,” a reference to the shooting attack on several congressional Republicans at a baseball practice earlier this month.
Rendon also told the San Jose Mercury News that he felt threatened specifically because critics were accusing him of causing the death of people who, they claimed, would not have health care if it did not come from the new bill.
“What’s really bothersome for me is to read some of the threads and some of the comments from people who really believe that this bill would have actually provided services. What’s disappointing is that those folks seem to have been sold a bill of goods,” Rendon told the Bee.
The California Nurses Association, which supports the single-payer bill, has reportedly dismissed Rendon’s claims about receiving death threats as an attempt to distract the public.
“There are real death threats out there,” said California Nurses Association spokesperson Chuck Idleson to the Mercury News, “for people who are facing a loss of health care.”
On Wednesday, protesters from the California Nurses Association flooded the State Capitol and displayed a banner reading “Inaction = Death,” according to the Los Angeles Times. They also held signs depicting the California state flag, with a knife in the back of the familiar bear. They accused Speaker Rendon of stabbing the bear in the back.
At the national level, Democrats have used similar language to protest Republicans’ effort to overhaul Obamacare, claiming the GOP is killing thousands of people.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the California Highway Patrol is investigating the threats against Rendon.
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.