Democrats are scrambling to find ways to stop the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill from passing the Senate next week.
California Democrats are particularly worried, as the bill — which would replace Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion with block grants to the states — stands to cut $58 billion in federal funding to the Golden State by 2027.
But the beauty of Graham-Cassidy is that it would allow California to enact the single-payer health care system (i.e. socialized, government-run medicine) that Democrats are increasingly demanding. And given that the single-payer system would cost California $400 billion per year, requiring the overtaxed state to raise an additional $200 billion in taxes, the loss of just $58 billion from D.C. over ten years is minuscule, almost a rounding error in comparison.
Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis famously described the states as “laboratories of democracy”: “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
So might it be with California. If Californians want government health care, under Graham-Cassidy, they no longer need to wait.
The only thing holding back the Golden State has been the relative sanity of Governor Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), who have balked at supporting single-payer until the heavily-indebted state can figure out how to pay for it. (For his trouble, Rendon has endured death threats from the left.) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) supports Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” plan, even though single-payer failed in his home state. That will not pass, but Graham-Cassidy might. Yet California’s Democrats are opposed.
One is reminded of the reaction of the California Department of Education earlier this year, when the Trump administration reversed President Barack Obama’s directive on transgender bathrooms in public schools. All Trump did was allow states and local school districts to determine their own policies — in effect, leaving California’s policy unchanged. But that was not good enough for California Democrats, who greeted the announcement with defiance.
For California Democrats, it is not good enough that they be left alone to enact their own policies. Unless the other states can be coerced into following California’s example — whether on health care, transgender bathrooms, climate change, or immigration — then a grave injustice is said to be taking place.
The only way to redress that injustice, apparently, is to spend billions of dollars from taxpayers elsewhere. Only then can California’s utopia be achieved.
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.