California’s budget crisis has caused Gov. Schwarzenegger to propose putting the brakes on Medi-Cal’s out-of-control, autopilot, growth. Of course, the governor is only doing it because California law requires him to close the deficit. Once he’s patched it for this year, he’ll be back on the bandwagon, selling his intrusive and expensive “universal” health care “Deforminator” that failed in January, according to today’s media.
Nevertheless, those who profit from government-run health care cannot bear even one year’s slowdown: Catholic Healthcare West, the California Medical Association (which I discussed yesterday), and Health Access California (which champions the Service Employees International Union’s cause), are joined by health plans Kaiser Permanente and Health Net (which ought to know a lot better than to collaborate with these groups), in launching a two-month long advertising and PR campaign urging the state to raise taxes (sorry, “find revenue”), to keep the steady increase in Medi-Cal and other state health care programs on track.
Health Access California has published a report predicting one million more uninsured. And they may be right – but that’s what comes of a system that drives people in and out of different types of coverage. One of their complaints about Gov. Schwarzenegger’s proposal is his demand that Medi-Cal beneficiaries prove eligibility quarterly, rather than annually, as is the status quo.
Advocates argue that this will increase the cost of bureaucracy and demotivate people to enrol. And they are undoubtedly correct. But the solution is not more government health care. Instead, the solution is refundable tax credits that allow people to buy a health policy that is guaranteed renewable and portable as they move from unemployment to employment and into different jobs.
But the health care elites are too focused on keeping their revenue streams flowing to explore real solutions.