California is facing a record budget deficit next year of $68 billion.
As a result, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Democratic supermajority in the state legislature will have to scale back their progressive ambitions. Can the state really afford the looming rise in the minimum wage for healthcare workers to $25 an hour? What about the expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants, which is set to take effect at the beginning of 2024?
The record deficit should put an end to California’s years-long flirtation with single-payer health care. Thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Newsom in October, the state will be spending the first several months of 2024 coming up with a plan to take over the health insurance system. But fiscal reality dictates that single-payer will remain nothing more than a dream for California progressives.