Welcome to the Health Care California

By January 22, 2007Health Care

Awaiting more information about the President’s health-care proposals, we take note of recent analyses of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mandates, tax increases and sleights of government hand, i.e., his plan for universal health care. Critics are stabbing it with steely knives.

Sally Pipes at the Pacific Research Institute notes that Ahnoldcare’s expanded health-care coverage depends on vast cost-shifting.

[Arnold’s] plan, like that of Massachusetts, relies on passing the buck to other taxpayers: It sends the bill for California’s new program to the taxpayers of other states. Nearly half of the tab of Arnold’s $12 billion expansion — $5.5 billion — will be extracted from Washington to match his Medicaid spending spree.

When this is considered, it’s hard to see why these plans get national applause, unless one considers that the applauding aren’t taxpayers in Iowa but liberal editors and writers in New York and D.C. In essence, Arnold is putting illegal immigrants and lower-middle-class families on the government roles and sending the $5 billion tab to D.C., which, in turns, passes the collection plate through the fruited plains.

Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute agrees, citing Schwarzenegger’s plan as a “poster child” for what’s wrong with U.S. health care:

If nothing else, the governor has highlighted what’s really wrong with America’s health-care system. Health care grows more expensive every year because everyone in the system is spending someone else’s money, and so no one spends responsibly. Even Medicaid encourages governors to make wild spending commitments because they can make taxpayers in other states pick up the tab.

And John Fund of the Wall Street Journal continues his evisceration of the plan, taking Schwarzenegger to task for the political doubletalk.

When politicians break their pledges not to raise taxes, they come up with the darnedest evasions. Take Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wants to levy new charges on California doctors, hospitals and employers to help pay for his $12 billion health-care plan. “It is not a tax, just a loan, because it does not go for general [expenditures],” he told the Sacramento Bee last Thursday. “It goes back to health care.”

A loan? The first reaction of many Californians was: What state office will I be able to go to and get my loan back–perhaps with interest? It’s preposterous, for example, to characterize as a “loan” the 4% payroll levy the governor wants to impose on employers who don’t offer health benefits. California’s gas taxes are dedicated to transportation but no one would call them “gas loans.” Property taxes go to local education. Are they not taxes?

Last thing taxpayers remember, they were running for the door….