Legislators Hope Third Times a Charm for State Healthcare Plan - NBC Bay Area

Legislators Hope Third Times a Charm for State Healthcare Plan

Single-payer system would be similar to system enjoyed by Canadians



    Legislators Hope Third Times a Charm for State Healthcare Plan
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    Mark Leno, left, hopes to send jackbooted thugs to your home and force you to enjoy affordable, quality health care.

    Though Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed similar bills twice in the past, State Senator Mark Leno's latest proposal to bring single-payer health care to California passed a Senate Appropriations committee vote.

    Naturally, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger promised the governor would veto the bill yet again.

    Most other wealthy, industrialized nations on earth have single-payer systems, and provide better overall care and at a lower cost than insurers in the United States.

    Partly due to increased administrative overhead, but also thanks to expensive marketing efforts -- such as Kaiser Permanente's ubiquitous "Thrive" campaign -- Californians pay more for far less care than in countries like Canada and France.

    Of course, state Republicans are staunchly opposed to the bill, because it would infringe on their God-given rights to not have any health coverage, and profit from those that pay dearly to.

    The program would cost a projected $200 billion, and would be paid through current state and federal money that currently flows into the pockets of private providers, as well as a payroll tax on employers and employees.

    According to the California HealthCare Foundation, a total of $167 billion was spent on health care in the state back in 2004, a number which has steadily climbed since.

    However, even Democratic critics attacked the plan on the grounds that it will be unpopular while the state is in the midst of a budget crisis, even if ultimately it would probably reduce the current cost to the economy in terms of lost productivity and expenses incurred by caring for the uninsured.

    Jackson West would consider moving to France if he could afford to.