June 15 is the deadline for the passage of the California budget, which must be passed by midnight. As of Friday afternoon, lawmakers who are members of the Conference Committee on the Budget were still waiting around for news of when the committee would convene.
Friday the Committee was supposed to meet at noon… then they were supposed to meet Friday evening. Then it was Saturday.
Finally, one office said they were told the Committee would meet Sunday evening. Each Capitol office I spoke with said there had been no communication from the Governor or his office.
However, there was consensus on the hot budget topic: Single payer healthcare and bringing back the individual mandate penalty tax on people who chose not to buy state run insurance.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his plan in January to bring back the Obama mandated health care, as well as cover the health care of young undocumented immigrants – children and young adults – and it would divert public health funding from 45 counties tasked with serving poor populations. This is a one backdoor way to help fund Newsom’s single payer plan.
Newsom says the counties the money is being taken from would no longer need it, as low-income young adults will be covered by the state – in a single payer style, state run health plan.
“In a word, they want medical socialism,” Steven Greenhut recently wrote at American Spectator. “They’re not swayed by data about people in Britain and Canada waiting months and even years to get surgeries people in the United States can schedule right away. They’re not concerned about the rationing of care, the multitrillion-dollar budget costs, or the stifling of innovation. Who is going to invest in clever medical devices (like those laparoscopic tools that spared me a big incision) or life-saving drugs if there’s no possible windfall? If you say ‘government,’ then you haven’t been watching the Chernobyl miniseries.”
Greenhut points out that 93 percent of Californians have health insurance, and instead of throwing out everyone’s health insurance in order to allow the government to take it over, covering the remaining 7 percent might make more sense.
In 2018, when The Assembly passed a bill to replace the existing health care system with a single payer system operated by the state government, paid for with taxpayer money, it was estimated at a cost of $400 billion. SB 562 by then-Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles) was shelved by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, knowing it could not pass, and was half-baked with no real funding mechanism.
Newsom’s plan to reinstate the individual mandate to force healthy people to buy the state health insurance, is one way to fund this. Newsom sats the funding from this tax will greatly subsidize his state health insurance. But the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office warned this could indirectly result in increased state costs in Medi‑Cal, and/or if the individual mandate actually succeeds in more Californians signed up for state health insurance, fewer Californians will pay the penalty tax resulting in less money.
These issues are largely being glossed over in the Democrat super majority Legislature. But there are Democrats who are not on board. This is what is going on behind the scenes, behind closed doors, and outside of the Conference Committee on the Budget – which is exactly where this debate should be taking place.