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California: Utopia meets fiscal reality
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, January 24, 2008

The vaunted (by a certain ideology) but yet to be implemented California health care system has some new estimates in on the day of the vote:
In a best-case scenario, the plan's revenues would cover its costs in the first year, Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill wrote in her review released Tuesday evening. However, by the fifth year, she estimates the program's annual costs would exceed revenues by $300 million.

If health care premiums were to exceed the $250 a person level that proponents estimate by an additional $50 per person, Hill wrote, the deficit could reach nearly $4 billion by the fifth year.
On the eve of the vote, some Democrats are having second thoughts - but not for the reason you think:
The plan includes a mandate on all Californians to carry insurance, although it would provide free or subsidized coverage to lower-income earners. Still, critics worry that some lower- and middle-class families will be stuck with deductibles and co-payments they can't afford.

[Democrat, Sen. Leland] Yee said the measure would saddle working families with "open-ended" health care costs. "There's no way I'm going to support that type of bill," he said.
Or said more simply, a 4 billion deficit isn't even close if Yee has his way.

Says Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles:

"Our job now is to move forward with bringing California closer to the goal of universal coverage and to work hard to avoid, contain and manage any realistic fiscal risks associated with the plan," said Núñez spokesman Steve Maviglio, in a statement. "The best tool we have for doing that continues to be the plan's explicit provision that if funds aren't available, the plan doesn't take effect."

And if it doesn't have the funds after it takes effect, will they shut it down.

After that hearty laugh, we move on.
The faltering economy and a projected $14.5 billion deficit have injected a new dose of uncertainty into the proposal's prospects, however. Supporters say the plan has its own revenue sources and would not drain the state's general fund. But questions remain whether voters would get behind a massive health care plan at the same time the state's finances are in shambles.
Is it "free"?
 
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This is a good program, it’s cousin is working in Massachusetts, right now..oh wait...OK, mayhap this is a bad idea.
 
Written By: Joe
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Hey, all Cali’s gotta do to solve this problem is slap some price controls on medical care! What could possibly go wrong with that?
 
Written By: Terry
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Terry’s fot the ticket some price controls would do wonders, and if wages are a problem in the mdical field, some wage limits, too.
 
Written By: Joe
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