One need not be a pollster or political scientist to conclude
that with each passing day, California voters have become increasingly wary and
frustrated with government’s (in)ability to get it right. Once again, our state faces a
multibillion dollar deficit and the news will not get better for many years to
How are taxpayers expected to have any faith that the very
politicians and bureaucrats that have mismanaged government agencies,
departments and budgets time after time would be any more competent assuming
and managing something as critically important as healthcare?
sad but proven truth is that government-run healthcare will add more
bureaucracy and a hefty price tag to California taxpayers, small businesses and
jobs. That is why the National
Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) so strongly opposed a recent
single-payer proposal in the form of Senate Bill 810 (Leno).
patently false to assume that small business owners couldn’t care less about
healthcare reform. They do-but solutions for Main Street and every Californian
must start with cost containment, incentives, and flexibility in designing
appropriate healthcare coverage. However, legislators continually reject
proposals that would expand access and lower costs through greater competition
and fairness, choosing instead to say, "My way or the highway."
and many other associations representing the employers who provide jobs in
California and around the nation support healthcare reform that protects the
right of healthcare consumers to choose and empowers them to make
decisions. SB 810 and other
‘anti-choice’ healthcare reforms provide no such option.
also believe that a fair marketplace demands equal treatment of consumers
regardless of how they purchase their healthcare. Today, Big Labor and Big Business can purchase healthcare as
a large national group, but federal law prevents small businesses from banding
together to gain a level-playing field.
of many small businesses cannot deduct their own healthcare insurance costs or
participate in the very plans they offer to their employees while corporate
CEOs write off Cadillac plans. More discrimination.
result of California’s weakened economy, many businesses in our state have been
unable to provide healthcare coverage as they desire. Mandating such coverage
will at best delay recovery in the future and will likely lead to California
falling further behind.
fundamental and grim reality that our leaders must understand is that our state
is both broke and broken. Adding a mammoth healthcare
machine will only make accessibility to affordable healthcare more of a distant
reality and result in higher costs, rationed care, and suffering taxpayers. One estimate from the non-partisan
Legislative Analyst’s Office put the price tag at well over $200 billion, but
that number really reflects the cost of what single-payer would replace. Therefore, we really have little idea
what this mammoth program would really cost. We do know that the ‘modest’ proposal languishing in
Congress is estimated to cost taxpayers around $1 trillion and it would still
leave millions of Americans uncovered.
out the existing system in favor of a state-controlled healthcare system
assumes that all cost increases are relative to administrative costs and business
profits, but totally ignores the impact of benefit mandates, frivolous litigation,
technological and pharmaceutical advancements in treatment.
no comprehensive financing structure included in SB810, it appears the most
this bill would accomplish is the creation of a new bureaucracy and put off the
decision of what Californians will be expected to pay for another day. Is that really how we want – or
deserve – to have our elected leaders setting policy for the eighth largest
economy in the world?
But our elected leaders, in their infinite wisdom, may be
onto something. In the last nine years,
while private employers lost around 650,000 jobs, government employment grew by
about 130,000. If that pace continues, we may all end up working for the
government one day, so in reality there will be very little, if anything, in
the State that won’t be classified as