Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, has shelved Senate Bill 562. The bill aims to create a government-run, single-payer health care system in California.
But, as Rendon noted, “This action does not mean SB562 is dead.” The California Legislature is still in the first half of a two-year session. The Senate has already approved the bill. Lawmakers in the Assembly could easily revive the proposal.
They’ll face significant pressure to do so, including from the politically powerful California Nurses Association, which has thus far led the charge for SB562. But they must hold fast — and scrap the bill permanently. Single-payer has led to government rationing of care and economy-busting taxes everywhere it’s been tried.
State legislators have long tried to foist single-payer upon Californians. Over the past two decades, lawmakers have introduced nearly 20 single-payer bills.
Many Californians may find the promise of universal, “free” health care enticing — until they find out how disruptive and costly a single-payer system would be.
Under SB562, the 92 percent of Californians covered by an employer-sponsored plan, an individual marketplace policy or a public program like Medicare or Medi-Cal would be forced to give up their insurance.
Most state residents wouldn’t welcome that change. More than eight in 10 are satisfied with their current coverage, according to a recent poll commissioned by the California Association of Heath Underwriters.
Moreover, Californians’ tax bills would explode under the new system. An analysis from the Senate Appropriations Committee put the cost of SB562 at $400 billion — more than double the state budget.
The legislation includes no mention of where that 12-figure sum would come from. The Senate Appropriations Committee suggested a 15 percent payroll tax.
That has given Speaker Rendon pause. In announcing his plans to put the bill on hold, he said that it contained “potentially fatal flaws” and failed to…