August 30, 2006

California HillaryCare

Hatched by Dafydd

As anyone who reads Captain's Quarters knows, the California Assembly just approved a bill, SB-840, which was previously approved by the state Senate, to implement "HillaryCare" style socialized medicine throughout California.

The bill was voted out of both chambers on essentially party-line votes, and you can find the complete text as amended here. The next stop is the state Senate again, where approval is pro-forma, and then to the desk of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger... who is widely expected to veto it, thank goodness.

I'm astonished that there has been so little reporting about this. I live in California, and I had heard nothing about it until I read Captain Ed's piece, which he picked up from, which is the web version of the San Francisco Chronicle. Aside from the Comical:

  • The bill and vote was covered by the Sacramento Bee (Sacramento is the state capital), and it was covered by various other small newspapers;
  • But as of this moment, I can find absolutely nothing on the website of the Los Angeles Times, the largest newspaper by far in the entire state. (I'm sure Patterico is shocked at the utter incompetence of the L.A. Slimes);
  • The San Diego Union Tribune published an opinion piece in favor of this socialized-medicine bill by a representative of the main group that wrote it, Health Care For All - California; but I cannot find any actual news story about its passage;
  • The San Jose Mercury News put a story up yesterday -- under the marvelously opaque headline, Demo bills highlight contrasts. Yeah, that sure makes clear that the subject is socialized medicine!

    The other bill referred to by the Mockery News, just passed by the state Assembly, was -- no, really, I'm not making this up -- a bill to allow illegal aliens to obtain California drivers' licenses. In case anyone here doesn't know or has forgotten, that is the issue, more than any other, that led to the recall of our previous governor, Gray Davis. California Democrats... the gift that keeps on giving;

  • I can't imagine this wasn't carried on AP, Yahoo, and Reuters -- or at least on Agence France-Presse -- but darned if I saw it on any of the feeds I read, and I can't find any reference via Google... except for a press release from another "consumer rights" group that supports socialized medicine, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which Yahoo ran on Monday.

It is astonishing how low this bill and the illegal-alien drivers' license bill have flown under the radar. I make no doubt of the reason why: because Californians, while leaning liberal, notoriously despise both HillaryCare and also giving illegal aliens a government ID card they can use to fake legal residency. So no wonder the elite media -- which "has bones in the fight," as a (legal) immigrant friend of mine said a long time ago, when she was still learning English -- are doing their bestest to keep mum about the bills.

The Democrats will happily tout their leftism at the appropriate venues: fund raisers, rallies, and speeches to the nurses and prison-guard unions. No reason to let real voters find out just how radical their own state senators and assemblymen are!

It is absolutely critical that the governor veto this bill.

The following is an e-mail I sent to the Office of the Governor, where I hope it will buck Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger up to veto this monstrosity of a bill (all emphasis added, since the e-mail form used by the Office of the Governor does not allow HTML code, for obvious reasons):

Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger;

I voted for you in 2003, and I intend to vote for you again -- but only if you veto this despicable socialized-medicine bill that just came out of the Assembly, SB-840. It's already been passed by the Senate once, and I'm sure it will be again... but even your opponent, Phil Angelides, opposes it!

It was sponsored by one of the most left-liberal state senators we suffer, Sen. Sheila James Kuehl. I loved her as "Zelda Gilroy" on the old Dobie Gillis TV show; but she's been a walking cat-5 hurricane in the legislature... and this bill is probably the worst thing she has ever foisted upon us long-suffering residents of the golden state.

As I'm sure you know, the bill establishes a "single payer" health-care system (that is, socialized health care)... but you may not have been told that it goes a lot farther: it actually BANS all private health-care plans and health insurance in the state. Don't believe me? This is from the actual text of the bill, pages 1-2:

The bill would prohibit health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies from being issued for services covered by the California Health Insurance System.

In other words, for any type of health care covered by California HillaryCare, my wife and I and every other Californian would be barred from obtaining any private health care plan or insurance. The moment it goes into effect, we're locked in; we lose our Blue Shield coverage and have only the government to turn to.

The bill "guarantees" that we can pick our own doctors and health-care facilities; but once the weenies in the lege gain total control, how long do you think that will last? How long until they decide that "cost containment" requires them to implement Hillary Clinton's original idea of "health-care alliances," which would decide which doctor to assign to each California resident?

This horrific bill -- passed by the Democrats on a party-line vote -- completely repudiates the entire theory of capitalism and competition: with one buyer (the state), we're just stuck with whatever coverage the Democrats think is best for everyone... "one size fits all."

If you happen to have needs not envisioned by the state legislature, tough. If you prefer less coverage in one area and more in another, too bad. You can't shop around, you can't change plans, you'll take what the Democrats give you -- and you'll like it.

Or else maybe you'll just get nothing at all.

Please, Governor, for God's sake, veto this abomination! The last thing California needs, in health care or any other arena, is a big, lumpy dose of Swedish-style socialism. Or does Sen. Kuehl have some wonderful examples in mind where more socialism solved an economic problem?

If you want to insure the poor, fine: insure the poor! Don't take choice away from everyone else in the name of "equality"... unless your idea of solving a problem is the Democratic way: make everyone equally poor and equally miserable -- and equally "socialized."

I am very sure that Schwarzenegger will veto this bill; and there are not enough Democrats in the Assembly, or (it appears) in the state Senate, to override a veto.

According to the story in the San Francisco Comical, the vote in the Assembly was 43 to 30; currently, the California State Assembly comprises 48 Democrats and 32 Republicans, with one vacancy.

Overriding a veto requires 2/3rds of each body, I believe, just as with the U.S. Congress. That requires 54 votes in the Assembly; but there are far fewer Democrats than that -- and not even all of them voted for this despicable bill: even assuming all 30 of the Nays were from Republicans, that means five Democrats (at the very least) abstained or failed to show up. If more than two Republicans failed to vote against SB-840, that means even more Democrats demurred.

Still, however, the main bulk of the Democrats don't want Sachi and me to be able to get the health-insurance plan that we want, but instead want to tell us what we'll get, good and hard.

The state Senate is dicier; but even there, with 40 members, you need 27 Ayes to override... and there are only 25 Democrats. There were 25 votes in favor of SB-804, and I wouldn't be surprised if those two groups, Democrats and Ayes, were coterminous.

Thus, for either body to vote to override a Schwarzenegger veto (assuming he's mensch enough to veto), the Democrats would have to lure some Republicans over to the dark side, to embrace socialism as the solution to our health-care woes, such as they are.

And really, the woes are neither deep nor wide: very few people are unable to find adequate health insurance; considerably more are unwilling... and as I noted in a previous post, given the current system, this may be a rational response for young singles or even married couples with no children and a reasonably high income.

And nobody has made a good argument why consolidating all health-care plans into a single buyer, that buyer being the state government, would make health insurance cheaper. The only pseudo-rationalization is the "argument by repeated assertion" used by the various socialist groups who push "health care for all": that everything will be cheaper because socialism eliminates all the "wasteful competition" you find in capitalist systems.

Yup; and it's worked great in Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Japan, the Democratic People's Republican of Korea, and of course the old Soviet Union, all of which have become absolute economic powerhouses. In fact, the only quasi-socialist countries with strong economic growth that I can think of are China and India... and both of those economies started growing only when they jettisoned much of their Marxist, Maoist, and fatalist socialist systems and embraced a significantly more robust capitalism than you find in the failed European social-welfare states of Scandanavia.

So yeah; brilliant conclusion, Mr. Democrat: let's solve our economic problems by becoming more like the economic basket cases of the world. That makes perfect sense -- to a liberal: if socialism fails everytime you try it, then the natural reaction is to redouble your efforts.

Let's hope that a single man, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a self-made capitalist, can see clearly enough to veto this bill... and the illegal-alien drivers' license bill as well.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 30, 2006, at the time of 4:40 PM

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» Schwarzenegger Will Veto California HillaryCare from Big Lizards
According to famed Bee-blogger Daniel Weintraub, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto the ghastly socialized-medicine bill enacted by the sinister California legislature. Thank goodness. There is no way the legislature can override the veto,... [Read More]

Tracked on September 5, 2006 3:31 PM


The following hissed in response by: Rovin

While working in Sactown this past week I caught this FIASCO from my old favorite Tom Sullivan @ KFBK.

This bill must be terminated. Nuff said.

The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2006 6:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: bpilch

I'm a Californian, too, and the first I read about it was in Captain Ed, also. Hmmmm... Anyway, I checked and you are right about the 2/3 to override, so we can bank on that. Ahnold will definitely veto...

The above hissed in response by: bpilch [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 30, 2006 6:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I think this plan sounds way over the top, but people are concerned about the cost of health care and I wonder if they are worried enough to accept something like this.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2006 3:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

I wonder if they are worried enough to accept something like this.

Only if you want your doctors offices to run as much compassion as the IRS. Or the speed of the passport people.Canada-care, here we come.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2006 6:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

I have relatives in Canada - they loath the health care system there. Admittedly something needs to be done. But this is an abomination.

I don't think the problem is too much capitalism, but not enough. Whenever capitalism truly gets hold of something the costs decrease while the quality increases. In health care the quality is fine, but the costs are out of control.

One thought to control costs - strict liability limits that all patients must sign prior to receiving any treatment. All cases settled by arbitration with strict guidelines. Incompetent doctors and hospitals are punished, but only by medical review boards that restrict their ability to practice.

Perhaps categories of treatment. I.e. you pay less, and are covered for everything but the most expensive treatments.

Just thinking out loud.

Any examples of affordable health care systems that work? This problem doesn't seem unique to the U.S.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2006 9:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: Nate

I hope this bill passes and the governer signs it right away. This is even though it will surly put my insurance related company in Orange County out of business. What better way to defeat forever the ridiculous notion of socialized medicine then having this pass in CA and bankrupt the state. The day it went into effect employers would flee the state by any means necessary. I can picture the covered wagons now rolling back eastward. My Vegas office would see a boom time never imagined possible. CA unemployement would sky rocket to double digits and home prices collapse. Even with all the media help there is no way they could spin the collapse as a positive thing. We would have to eventually deal with the influx of liberals fleeing their mess trying to come screw up our home states but it would also allow CA a chance to rebuild minus the liberal shackles. This could be the spike that kills liberalism, that once and for all shows clearly how devoid of common sense liberlaism and socialism is. Dems have the gun to their head and are begging to commit sucide, why stop them?

The above hissed in response by: Nate [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2006 9:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Wiseburn

Here's a congressional candidate's recent post regarding HillaryCare


Universal Health Care: A Looming Catastrophe

When I'm asked about this idea, I often respond by asking: "Why not universal free food, or universal free housing, or universal free clothes?" Why is medical care so special that we need the government to provide it for us?

The above hissed in response by: Wiseburn [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 2, 2006 9:11 AM

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