Are Californians on track to implement universal health care?

Covid-fighting hero Gavin Newsom promised California voters a single-payer universal health care system in 2018. A majority of Californians agree that health care is a human right. California has a larger population than most European countries that we consider our models of proper government. California has tons of income and wealth. There are no Republicans capable of preventing California state government from following Science and acting morally. So, as with housing the unhoused, there shouldn’t be any obstacle to California living its principles.

A year ago, AB-1400 Guaranteed Health Care for All, was published. Apparently, when a fundamental human right is being denied there is no reason for California politicians to act quickly. Nonetheless, there was some action a month ago… “Tax hikes for universal health care in California?” (CalMatters):

To implement single-payer health care, or not to implement single-payer health care?

That’s the question facing state lawmakers after a group of Democratic legislators on Thursday unveiled a package of bills to create a universal health care program called CalCare. The proposal has already earned better reception than it did last year, when it was tabled without a hearing after lawmakers raised concerns about its lack of a funding source.

But the funding source — taxes — proposed in a separate bill will likely face an uphill battle. Tax hikes must be approved by two-thirds of lawmakers in both the state Assembly and Senate — a tall order, especially in an election year — and a majority of voters to go into effect. And the doctors’ lobby, insurance industry and business groups are already mobilizing against the bill.

The bills present a conundrum for Gov. Gavin Newsom, who vowed to implement single-payer health care when campaigning for the governorship in 2018. That earned him the backing of powerful groups like the California Nurses Association and progressive activists — and now they want him to make good on his promise, especially after they mobilized to help him defeat the recall last September. An estimated 3.2 million Californians remain uninsured.

Assemblymember Ash Kalra, a San Jose Democrat and the proposal’s main author: “Doing nothing is not action. It is, in fact, the cruelest of actions while millions suffer under our watch.”

What’s happened since then? The state government has “a record-breaking $286.4 billion, including a $45.7 billion surplus” (ABC, 1/10/2022). Yet, despite the government having more money than ever, including a ton of cash that it didn’t expect (thanks to the miracle of asset inflation and capital gains taxation at 13.3 percent?), Mx. Kalra withdrew his/her/zir/their bill (see “Why single payer died in the California Legislature, again”).

Californians don’t agree with MLK, Jr. that “The time is always right to do what is right”? If not during this period of historic budget surplus, when would be the best time for working and tax-paying Californians to deliver to their brothers, sisters, and binary-resisters the universal health care that they say is a human right?


14 thoughts on “Are Californians on track to implement universal health care?

    • They should just copy Soviets (and later, Feds) in creating exit tax… sure, you can leave CA, but large chunk of your money stays there.


  1. The budget surplus was because of the last 4 or 5 federal stimulus packages. 1/2 of those were direct payments to state governments so they’re still not counting on it being long term. The next 40 or 50 stimulus packages will probably be just direct payments to expert witnesses.

  2. I see that California is still being ruled by right slackers. Right slackers did not let me back into United Sates and I had to move south of the border into friendly Mexico where unfortunately my life was under deadly threat from killers paid by centrist communists.

    • Yeah, compared to Comrades Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tliab, and the rest of the Squad, Comrade Stalin was a centrist.

      And, yes, if we don’t take the comrades out ASAP, the American version of GULAG will follow.

      Somehow the bourgeoisie never believe things like that can come into their world in a hurry, until they are being herded into cattle cars. If anyone had believed the lockdowns and mandates (what a quaint word… right from Bolshevik history) for years will be coming just a few short years ago, he’d be considered far gone conspirologist. Nevertheless, we are here.

    • @averros, comrade Sanders reminds me of Era of Stagnation (Zastoy) high ranked Brezhnev’s apparatchik with his several country houses (dachas). Perhaps I am being partial because Comrade OC vaguely reminds me of my one time lover Frida Kahlo. I should fight newly discovered sexism, if I discovered it myself I am sure I would be let into United States and would not have to fight for survival in Mexico. At least I did not have ghost writers as Brezhnev and other glorious progressive left slackers like myself, and I wrote my own (and theirs) political programs.

    • @Comrade Trotsky

      Yeah, I’ve heard these ice picks are nasty, be careful around them.

      That said, my powers of prophecy tell me that your life’s work will live on and will become big in America through students of your students (Albert Wohtsteltter, Max Schachtman, Eliot Cohen) – the bunch will be hilariously called “neoconservatives”. Go far left – come out on right, as comrade Lenin once aptly observed.

    • @averros, yes, got my guard down, just once.
      Myself with my Scandinavian communist bodyguards repelled so many armed assaults that I forgot that pointy things can hurt and that some comrades may have dotted reporting line.
      I have not caught up with my American followers work but I would scold if we had met for failure to bring on of world proletarian revolution.

  3. Government-subsidized health care / health insurance would let me retire early and free up my job for an unemployed/under-employed millennial burdened by crushing student debt and lack of affordable housing.

  4. In California, the way to pass these kinds of spending bill is to make some other group foot the bill. The author of the bill did not identify which group would be required to pay for the costs, so the bill died pretty quickly.

    Even the most liberal Californian doesn’t want too their taxes doubled.

    • True enough for the immediate future – it’s always Other People’s Money – but the real, long term solution is going to be a scorched earth campaign against the doctors and insurance interests to scare the crap out of them, take a few dozen bloody scalps, ruin a few dozen careers and companies, and the rest will fall in line. Then you strengthen the rank-and-file nurses unions and the political calculus will change. That will take another election cycle or two but it can be done.

  5. Apparently the nurses unions and the doctors’ lobby do not see eye to eye on this issue and cannot be lassoed together, as the doctors are worth more money and have the upper hand. Oh, what those nurses need is someone like Randi Weingarten who can break the glass ceilings, take the power back and put the rank and file nurses in control, not just for the purposes of single-payer but also future pandemics: they can shut down the hospitals, not just the schools – unless the risk is brought to Zero.

    Soon come. Soon come.

  6. “Mx. Kalra withdrew his/her/zir/their bill”
    I figure Phil has a bunch of keyboard macros to stay consistent with all his/etc. titles, pronouns and other hobby horses. But wouldn’t a script that linked to a fedgov server that supplies the latest orthodoxies be preferable? And who better to create a bulletproof web server than our genial host him/her/zir/them self?
    Or maybe grammarly automatically purges deprecated nomenclature from one’s sentences and replaces it with the latest #Science?

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