The Price Tag On A California Single Payer Health Plan Is Bigger Than The State Budget

A government heath plan can be two of these — universal, affordable, quality.

If universal and quality then not affordable (would bankrupt the government).

If affordable and quality then not universal.

If universal and affordable then low quality.

The price tag for California universal health care plan – $400 Billion.  This year’s state budget in California is about $180 billion.

It would cost $400 billion to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal health care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.

California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations Committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag. sacbee

California plan high cost, high taxes, loss of jobs.

California’s proposal is particularly expensive because it’s not just a single-payer proposal, but a generous one. As Vox details, “the state would pay for almost all of its residents’ medical expenses—inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care—and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles.” Undocumented immigrants would be covered too.

Even in the state that spends the most money each year, the $200 billion increase is asking for a lot. Californians pay an average of 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the sixth highest of any state, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.,-based think tank that favors lower tax rates, and the state’s top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is already the nation’s highest.

“Needless to say, doubling California’s tax burden would give them the highest taxes in the country by far,” Joe Henchman, vice president of state projects for the Tax Foundation, told Reason on Tuesday.

The proposal “will cost employers and taxpayers billions of dollars and result in significant loss of jobs in the state,” warns the California Chamber of Commerce. reason

Other states that have attempted single-payer health care plans.

Just last week, we reported on a similar single-payer proposal in New York State, which would require doubling (and possibly quadrupling, depending on which projection you believe) the state’s tax burden. Vermont’s attempt to implement a single-payer health care system collapsed in 2014 because the costs were too high. Colorado voters rejected a proposed single-payer system in 2016 when faced with the prospect of increasing payroll taxes by 10 percent to meet the estimated $25 billion annual price tag. reason

Photo by Kevin Cortopassi