California Senate Passes Single-Payer Healthcare

January 24, 2018 gtutt44

YESTERDAY THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE PASSED A SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE BILL. THAT SOUNDS LIKE FAKE NEWS, BUT IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND I THINK IT’S STILL FAR FROM BEING LAW BUT IT’S AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP WITH BIG HURDLES COMING, DETAILS ABOUT HOW TO PAY FOR IT, ESTIMATES OF COST ARE HIGH, SOMETHING LIKE $400 BILLION, PEOPLE THROW AROUND THAT IT IS A DOUBLING OF THE STATE BUDGET, OF COURSE, HEALTHCARE IS EXPENSIVE WHETHER INDIVIDUALS PAY FOR IT OR THE GOVERNMENT IS. THAT IS OFTEN LOST IN THESE DECLARATIONS ABOUT HOW EXPENSIVE SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE IS FOR SOME REASON. BUT NOW IT WILL PROCEED TO THE ASSEMBLY, MORE DETAILS WILL HAVE TO BE FLESHED OUT ABOUT HOW THIS WOULD HAPPEN, BUT IT DOES LAY OUT A SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE PLAN, A GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTHCARE PLAN, FOR THE SIXTH BIGGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD.

WE HAVE TO GIVE CREDIT — THE NURSES UNION IS AMAZING. EVERYWHERE. APPROPRIATELY, THE NURSES ARE COMING TO HEAL THE COUNTRY. LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS — THERE ARE GOOD ARGUMENTS AGAINST IT, BECAUSE EVEN THE LEGISLATORS THAT VOTED FOR IT ARE SAYING IT’S NOT QUITE COMPLETE — IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS. A STARTING OFF POINT, BASICALLY. TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF HOW MUCH IT’S NOT DONE YET, THEY HAVE TO PASS ANOTHER BILL WHICH INVOLVES THE TAXES, THE PARTNER YOU ACTUALLY RAISE THE MONEY FOR IT, AND I THINK JOHN ALLUDED TO, THAT’S ABOUT $400 BILLION.

IF I COULD RUN THROUGH ONE MORE GRAPHIC, THERE HAVE BEEN VARIOUS ANALYSES OF THE EFFECTS, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE SWITCHED TO SINGLE-PAYER, ONE IS HOW WE WOULD PAY FOR IT, AND — I WILL GET TO THAT IN A SECOND, BUT I WANT PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND — IN ORDER TO PASS THE TAXES IN CALIFORNIA YOU NEED A TWO THIRDS VOTE IN BOTH CHAMBERS. SO THE SENATE HAS TO GO BACK AND PASS IT BY TWO THIRDS, INCLUDING THE TAXES, AND THEN THE HOUSE, OR THE ASSEMBLY IN CALIFORNIA, HAS TO ALSO PASS IT BY A TWO THIRDS VOTE IN ORDER FOR IT TO COME INTO EFFECT, AND RBC THE GOVERNOR WOULD HAVE TO SIGN IT. AND THE VOTERS WOULD HAVE TO VOTE ON IT, AND THE STATE WOULD HAVE TO VOTE ON REPURPOSING THEIR MEDICAID AND MEDICARE FUNDS AS WELL.

ASSUMING THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THOSE FUNDS TO BE USED FOR IT. THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED. I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA SO LET’S TURN TO THE TAXES, ALL THE QUESTION MARKS, I THINK WE WILL BEGIN TO ANSWER THOSE QUESTION MARKS. WHEN I SAW 15% PAYROLL TAX INCREASE — THAT’S A LOT. THAT IS QUITE A BIT. AND THEN OF COURSE YOU REALIZE, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR HEALTHCARE. AT ALL. SO YOUR PREMIUMS ARE GONE. AND ANY KIND OF CONTRIBUTION, GONE. WHICH A LOT OF BUSINESSES HAVE TO PAY. OVERALL THAT SAVES CALIFORNIA MONEY, BECAUSE IT LOWERS DRUG PRICES, AND MY INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE HALVERSON, FORMER CEO OF KAISER PERMANENTE, IS ENLIGHTENING ON THAT ISSUE. AND ANYWAY OF COURSE YOU WILL ELIMINATE A LOT OF OVERHEAD THAT YOU PAY, THAT WE PAY TO THE MIDDLEMEN. SO AT THE END OF THE DAY AS A CALIFORNIA RESIDENT I WOULD SAVE MONEY, PERHAPS A LOT OF MONEY. AND WHEN YOU DO THAT EQUATION YOU GO, I GET IT, I’M PAYING MORE IN TAXES BUT I GET TO KEEP ALL THE OTHER MONEY, SO IF AT THE END OF THE DAY I’VE SAVED WHATEVER THE NUMBER IS, 100 BUCKS, WHO CARES THAT I PAID MORE TAXES? I HAVE MORE MONEY IN THE BANK, AND POTENTIALLY MUCH BETTER HEALTH INSURANCE.

AND A MORE JUST SOCIETY. THAT IS ONE THAT’S DEBATED. WHAT DO I THINK OVERALL? I THINK IT’S A GREAT, GREAT STEP FORWARD. BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS LIKE, LET’S PAUSE, LET’S DO THIS, GRADUALISM — THIS IS ACTION. ACTION OVER INACTION. IF YOU ARE DOING TERRIBLE, DISASTROUS ACTIONS LIKE TRUMP, THEY HAVE FLOWING CONSEQUENCES THAT ARE NEGATIVE. BUT IF YOU DO I THINK POSITIVE ACTION, WHICH I VIEW THIS TO BE POSITIVE, IT MIGHT HAVE SURPRISING FLOWING CONSEQUENCES FROM THAT. IT’S ON THE BOARD NOW, THE OTHER CHAMBER HAS TO CONSIDER IT, AND NOW WE HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT IT, WE ARE DOING A STORY ON IT, AND EVERY MEDIA OUTLET IN CALIFORNIA IS DOING A STORY ON IT AND HAVING PEOPLE GO, WAIT, I WOULD SAVE MONEY? THAT’S INTERESTING. IF YOU ARE IN CALIFORNIA OR NOT, SHOW SUPPORT TO THE POLITICIANS WHO HAVE ALREADY SUPPORTED IT, I THINK THAT’S A GREAT WAY TO REINFORCE FOR THEM THAT THEY SHOULD CONTINUE TO WANT TO MOVE IN THIS DIRECTION, PERHAPS THEY COULD PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE FOR POLITICIANS NOT ALREADY ON BOARD, AND IT COULD BE A GOOD SIGNAL POST FOR WHEN IT GETS TO THE ASSEMBLY.

BUT YOU DID A GREAT JOB OF BREAKING DOWN AS A BUSINESS OWNER HOW THIS WOULD AFFECT YOU, THEY WILL THROW AROUND THE 15% TAX ON PAYROLL HOPING THAT YOU WILL NEVER FIND OUT ABOUT THE VARIOUS MONEY YOU WILL SAVE, BUT THINK ABOUT THE POINT OF VIEW OF A BUSINESS THAT NOW THERE IS THIS ONE PLACE, WHICH IS ALREADY A GREAT STATE, BUT NOW A STATE WHERE YOU WILL HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE — YOU WILL HAVE PEOPLE MOVE TO THIS STATE TO LIVE HERE, PAY TAXES HERE, BUY PRODUCTS HERE, AND THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE SPENDING HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EVERY MONTH ON HEALTH INSURANCE SUDDENLY HAVE THAT MONEY.

AND WE ALL KNOW WE ARE BIG SAVERS IN AMERICA — KNOW WE ARE NOT, WE WILL SPEND IT ON PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WHICH WILL BE AMAZING FOR THE CALIFORNIA ECONOMY. SO THIS DOESN’T JUST PRODUCE A MORE JUST SOCIETY AND SAVE COUNTLESS PEOPLE FROM PREMATURE, UNNECESSARY DEATH, IT ALSO WOULD BE AN ENORMOUS ECONOMIC STIMULUS FOR CALIFORNIA. THAT IS PROBABLY TRUE. WE DON’T KNOW YET, WE DON’T KNOW HOW THEY WILL GET THERE. JUST LAID OUT THE STEPS OF HOW DIFFICULT IT WOULD BE TO GET THERE. BUT POLITICALLY IT’S A HUGE FIRST STEP, IT CHANGES THE NATURE OF THE CONVERSATION. THE SENATE IN CALIFORNIA HAS VOTED FOR IT.

BARBARA BOXER, WHO CLAIMS — I DON’T KNOW WHETHER IT’S TRUE, BUT LET’S ASSUME SHE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH — SORRY, NANCY POSEY, FORGIVE ME — HOW DID YOU CONFUSE THEM? SO STRANGE — SHE SAYS SHE HAS FOUGHT FOR SINGLE-PAYER ALL HER LIFE BUT SHE REALIZED IT COULDN’T PASS FOR THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, AND THEN SHE SAYS HER WAY OF DISMISSING A FIGHT NOW FOR SINGLE-PAYER IS, IT NEEDS TO BE TRIED IN THE STATES. DIANNE FEINSTEIN SAYS THE SAME THING. SURE, IT MIGHT WORK, LET’S TRY IT IN THE STATES. OKAY, HERE WE GO, IT IS YOUR STATE, AND IF IT WORKS, THEN THE REASON USED BY AT LEAST DEMOCRATS — REPUBLICANS WILL STILL BE AGAINST IT — BUT THE REASON USED BY MOST DEMOCRATS BEING AGAINST IT, THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST IT, WILL EVAPORATE, AND I SUSPECT THEY WILL COME ABOARD.

AND I BELIEVE PELOSI MORE THAN FEINSTEIN ON THIS IN TERMS OF THEIR COMMITMENT, BECAUSE PELOSI HAS AT DIFFERENT TIMES BEEN COMMITTED TO THIS. WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THIS ALSO IS LET’S SAY IT FAILS, LET’S SAY IT FAILS AT THE ASSEMBLY OR THE STATE OR THE GOVERNOR’S DESK OR THE BALLOT BOX OR THE CONSTITUTION — IT’S STILL THE PLACE WHERE IT STARTED. YOU HAD A LEGISLATIVE BODY VOTE FOR SOMETHING THAT IS GOOD FOR PEOPLE, AND PEOPLE WILL LOOK BACK AND SAY THIS IS WHERE IT STARTED, AND GOVERNMENT CAN ACTUALLY COME IN AND HELP.

PEOPLE SAY POLITICS IS THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE — THIS WILL SHOW HOW IT’S POSSIBLE, HOW IN SOME CASES IT’S IMPOSSIBLE, BUT THIS IS WHERE IT STARTED AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT STARTED IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE. I THINK THAT’S GREAT. LAST THING ON POLITICS AND POLICY, CHECK OUT THE HALVERSON INTERVIEW, WHERE HE SAYS IT WORKS SO MUCH BETTER IN EUROPE, THIS GUY WAS THE CEO OF KAISER PERMANENTE, HE KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT THIS. AND ON THE POLITICS THING, IT PUTS PEOPLE LIKE FEINSTEIN IN A TOUGH SPOT, SHE’S ON THE RECORD AS SAYING IT’S NOT REALISTIC, SING A PAYER — SO NOW WHEN YOUR OWN STATE PASSES IT IN THE SENATE, NOW HOW DOES SHE MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT IT’S NOT PRACTICAL? BECAUSE THAT WOULD THEN BE DEFYING HER OWN PARTY IN HER OWN STATE. THAT’S A GREAT POINT, AND SHE HAS NOT YET SAID WHETHER SHE WILL RUN FOR REELECTION IN 2018, AND THIS IS ANOTHER ALBATROSS ON HER BACK SO THAT IF SHE DOES RUN, PROBABLY AMONGST DEMOCRATS IN A PRIMARY, IF SHE GETS PRIMARIED HARD IN CALIFORNIA — SHE WILL.

IT’S HARD TO PRIMARY DIANNE FEINSTEIN IN CALIFORNIA, I’M SITTING NEXT TO SOMEONE WHO THINKS IT’S EASIER THAN IT IS, PROVE ME WRONG, BUT IN PRACTICAL TERMS THE POLITICS, NOW THAT YOU HAVE A SITTING U.S. SENATOR WHO MIGHT HAVE TO RUN, SHE WILL HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THIS AND THAT’S GREAT..

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