As California struggles to get control of its budget deficit, Governor Schwarzenegger (who as recently as January collaborated with Democrats to almost wrangle a $15 billion health care tax and spending increase through the legislature) has been forced to propose cutting $2 billion (5 percent) from the state budget for health and human services – mostly Medi-Cal (Medicaid) and other services for low-income Californians.
The state’s long-suffering doctors will be asked to take a ten percent pay cut to balance the budget. How clever is that, when an increasing number of doctors nationwide take no Medicaid patients? And why should California’s physicians suffer because the state government cannot spend within its means, but lurches like a drunken sailor from one annual fiscal crisis to the next? (My apologies to drunken sailors, many of whom are fine people, I’m sure.)
The fact is that governments cannot act as responsible insurers, for health care or any other social service. If the government let you and I control more of our health care money, at least we’d have the choice of saving up in the good times to ensure we’d have enough money to pay for our health care when income runs short – but the state forbids the poorest Californians from making this choice, even more so than the rest of us.
And yet, self-styled “advocates” for the poor continue to bleat for increased government dependency. Incredible!