The staggering price tag for the Democrats’ plan to provide “health care for all” would cost California $400 billion a year to create a state-funded universal health care system — more than double the $180 billion annual state budget.

California residents will be required to pay significantly increased taxes — as much as 50 percent or more — to the state to cover health care costs, rather than individuals being able to make their own decisions to buy from private insurers who have to compete for their business.

The real motive behind Los Angeles-area Democrat Sen. Ricardo Lara’s Senate Bill 562 is to provide health coverage to everyone in the state, whether they are here legally or not. It’s just another very expensive welfare program for people who do not pay into the system.

Competition always produces better results — state-run health care will have no competition and no accountability. Costs will soar, and quality health care will diminish. In other words, single-payer health care is a sure way to destroy the California economy, and send more residents fleeing to lower-tax states. We’d be driving jobs and productivity out of California, while bringing those seeking free health care into California.

Referred to as a “single-payer” system, the “single payer” would be the state government, which would have total control of your health care. In reality, that “single payer” is you. Private insurance companies would be eliminated, replaced by a socialist-styled health care delivery system that has failed in other countries and states, as governments cannot afford to fund it properly, and health care gets rationed.

In 2014, Vermont scrapped its attempt at a single-payer health care system because it would have required a whopping 160 percent tax increase to pay for it. A single payer health plan was recently overwhelmingly voted down in Colorado.

California’s plan would fall $200 billion short even with the $200 billion in existing federal, state and local funding. That shortfall would likely be made up with huge increase in payroll taxes, effectively costing everyone more.

Sen. Lara claims his plan will operate the way Medicare does, but that just isn’t true. “A single-payer health system would not look like ‘Medicare for all,’ but Medi-Cal, the state’s welfare program for low-income residents’ health care,” health scholar John Graham recently wrote in the Register. “A 2013 study found only 54 percent of office-based physicians accepted Medi-Cal patients. Another found only 36 percent of psychiatrists would accept Medi-Cal patients.”

Graham points out Medicare beneficiaries do not experience limited access to specialists because the program is fully funded and paid for by working-age people who finance Medicare’s spending on people aged 65 and older.

Many in California say Sen. Lara’s plan will more likely deliver the abysmal health care that America’s veterans are subjected to from the government-run Veterans Administration.

The only way that single payer can work is to drastically cut payments to hospitals, doctors and drug companies — or put the doctors, nurses and hospitals on the state payroll, which will drive many of our doctors to pack up and leave. Of course, the corrupting influence of special interest money will be in full swing as the Legislature picks winners and losers in that $400 billion a year spending lottery.

California Democrats may soon find out what happens when you run out of other people’s money.

Originally published in the Orange County Register.