Patricia Suzanne | Guaranteed Health Care for All: Put Aside, Not Defeated

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
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Quick quiz: Who said this? “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” 

For young readers or those with short memories, it was President Barack Obama, trying to sell the American public on his purposefully misnamed “Affordable Care Act.” 

He repeated such lines over and over, in speech after speech. Undercover videos of secretive meetings held before the ACA rollout later revealed that developers of the program clearly understood how costly and restrictive the program would be. Obama KNEW his words about keeping your doctor and saving money on health insurance were falsehoods from the outset.

So here we are in California, and socialists in our state government are still pushing the lie. 

This time, it took the form of Assembly Bill 1400 and its dastardly companion, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11. Both are dead, but like phoenixes, will rise again, no doubt altered a bit and more cleverly named.

“Guaranteed Health Care for All” or “CalCare,” as its Democrat creators called it, was introduced by Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose. It was intended to guarantee “free” health care for all California residents, meaning that every person living in California (yes, undocumented immigrants, too) would receive the same coverage. GONE would be Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance, ACA, VA coverage, federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, etc.

However, the legislators who crafted this giant umbrella scheme didn’t include a funding mechanism, so they put forth ACA11, a huge tax hike to support their estimated $314-billion-plus boondoggle.

The amendment was drafted to establish an array of new taxes on companies and employees – an extra 2.3% on gross receipts; 1.25% more on wages; a 1% higher payroll tax; etc., making it even MORE expensive to do business here. And, no doubt, drive even MORE entrepreneurs and industrialists into the welcoming arms of Texas and Florida.

Even worse was the plan to funnel federal health care monies allocated for Californians into state coffers and take away free choice. 

For example, for seniors with Kaiser coverage, Kaiser would no longer receive their Medicare funds. That money would instead flow to the state, and the senior would become a CalCare patient. Individuals were to have no choices under this scheme.

“Thankfully, the author of the bill did not take it up for a vote prior to yesterday’s deadline, and the bill cannot advance,” said our Santa Clarita Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares on Feb. 1. “Thanks to tens of thousands of concerned Californians, legislators recognized the harmful effects of this bill and joined me in letting the author know we could not support it.”

The fact that it did not advance, as Valladares stated, doesn’t mean it will be forgotten. The socialists in Sacramento will continue to plot for bureaucrats in charge of everything.

Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron of Escondido praised Democrats who helped stop the legislation, but added, “The fact that a proposal for a government takeover of our state’s entire health care system even made it this far shows how out of touch the Democratic Party is from the needs of everyday Californians.”

The idea that the state could competently run such a program is laughable. Remember the $31 billion they handed out in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic? 

Certainly, that system is nowhere near as complex as an ongoing tangle of health benefits. And of course, there’s the bullet train to nowhere. An online search easily exposes BILLIONS in cost overruns on that as-yet unfinished (and nobody wants it) debacle.

“Progressives” continue to promote government-run health care, insisting that it saves money and lives. Have they truly endeavored to understand if such systems work well in other countries?

Are Canadians happy with their health care? Adopted in 1996, their system forced everyone to accept a single insurer and prohibited citizens from obtaining private policies or even paying out of pocket for their own care. Health Canada has reduced the availability of services in wide swaths of the country, and markedly decreased freedom and medical autonomy. 

The result – long wait times for specialists, lack of access to advanced technology such as MRIs, limited hospital bed availability, and inability to pay for or provide needed treatments. Patients up north frequently travel across their southern border to buy needed care in the U.S.

Assemblyman Kalra, the sponsor of AB1400, was obviously disappointed at the failure of his bill on Jan. 31. “The votes were not there today,” he said. “But we will not give up.”

Nor will WE conservative voters! The single-payer phoenix WILL rise again, so stay vigilant. Keep your mighty phones, pens and electronic devices handy to continue the fight for freedom.

Patricia Suzanne is a professional writer, retired small business owner and conservative Republican activist. She is determined to Make California Golden Again by waking up one voter at a time to embrace conservative values and pressure legislators to restore constitutional freedoms. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays, and rotates among local Republicans.

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