California’s universal health care proposal includes covering undocumented immigrants


State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has introduced a bill to overhaul California’s health care system to create a single-payer model, the latest example of the Golden State bucking the Trump agenda and taking a “go it alone” approach.

The Healthy California Act would create a universal health care system – including covering residents who are in the country illegally. It’s a measure in response to the looming repeal of the Affordable Care Act in Congress. Since the ACAs passing, California has embraced Obamacare despite continued concerns over access to affordable care.

“We have reached a pivotal moment where there’s a threat to health care,” Lara said. “I felt it was important that we create a different narrative here in California.”

This isn’t the first time such legislation has come into focus, as then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a single-payer bill back in 2006.

Critics of a “Medicare for all” system cite heavy costs associated with an overhaul, as health care expenditures in California totaled $367.5 billion in 2016, making it the state’s largest industry. Furthermore, with undocumented immigrants being covered, those costs would substantially increase. As the Los Angeles Times explained, employees and their employers would face increased taxes and those revenues would be combined with the funds used for Medicare and Medicaid.

While at this point specifics appear light, it’s important to note that California currently relies on about $22 billion in federal funding every year to cover insurance subsidies.

More broadly, it’s the latest example of California waging a fight against the Trump administration. The state has already stoked high-profile battles to defend so-called “sanctuary city” policies, with major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco vowing to continue to defy federal law by not cooperating with immigration authorities.

A recently published Rasmussen poll found that 41 percent of Republicans say America won’t be hurt if California became a separate country – and given its solo approach in the Trump era, it may already feel that way to those between the coasts.

Drew Gregory Lynch is a CalWatchdog contributor



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  1. Ronald
    Ronald 6 March, 2017, 11:09

    It’s hard to understand the time and efforts being extended on the subject of “sanctuary” and the use of public monies to fund protection of illegals when California has many other challenges on its plate such as our growing population of the financially challenged that includes:

    1. Nearly 25% of Californians 38 million live below the poverty line.
    2. California has more than 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients.
    3. California is home to 12% of the nation’s population, but startlingly 21% of the nation’s homeless population.
    4. The majority of California renters: Nearly 3 million households – pay more than 30% of their income toward rent.
    5. Roughly – 1.5 million households pay more than 50% of their income toward rent.

    A few other problems that should have some priority time and action from our legislatures are:

    o Affordable housing continues to be out of the reach of most citizens.
    o California’s energy costs for transportation fuels and electricity continue to be the most expensive in the country.
    o The emissions crusade that began in 2006 has failed to reduce California’s 1 per cent contribution to the world’s greenhouse gases, all while cap-and-trade has raised $7 billion in fees from our citizens’ pocketbooks that are appropriated to more than 20 government pet projects. In the decade from 2006, California’s population has grown 1.077% to 38.8 million and we have less manufacturing jobs today than we had in 2006.
    o The mid ‘70s pioneering California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has created a nightmare for those seeking affordable, conveniently located housing, workplaces and shopping centers.
    o Unfunded pension liabilities. It’s unfortunate that future generations, unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted entitlements and boondoggle projects. Even before those young folks can vote, our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars.

    We would appreciate our representatives to stop pursuing discretionary causes and pet projects and come to grips with the real problems facing all Californians. Sticking by the principles around sanctuary cities may be right, but we may be dead right placing the financial responsibilities on the financially challenged.

    Reply this comment
      IC$$CONGAMES 7 March, 2017, 03:57

      With no intent to nitpick your well written thoughts, in regards to the subject of Cap and Trade, might it be added that:
      ( SacBee June 12, 2014 9:58 PM)
      “In a key resolution, Brown and Democratic lawmakers agreed to use $250 million in cap-and-trade revenue – money polluters pay to offset carbon emissions – to fund construction of California’s $68 billion rail project this year, with 25 percent of carbon emission funds going to the project in future years.”

      “The high-speed rail funding, though insufficient alone to fund construction, holds the promise of a perpetual revenue stream – one not controlled by the federal government”, that may not necessarily find it used for the HS Rail and one more money grab type scheme by politicians(just my opinion).

      Reply this comment
  2. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 11:12

    Health care coverage is acceptable for legal citizens and their kids who pay on to social security but nor for illegals. If we want to keep illegals out the country. Creating health coverage for is encouraging them into the country and using our taxes and those that work.

    Reply this comment
  3. RT
    RT 6 March, 2017, 12:06

    Yes, just look at how well California runs its Medi-Cal program( it is a mess) and you will get a small peek at what would happen with a single-payer model ran by California.

    Reply this comment
  4. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 12:19

    The reason for that is government have to make thing so complicated when there are simple way to offer medical services. The first step is to remove association with insurance companies.

    Reply this comment
  5. David Wiltsee
    David Wiltsee 6 March, 2017, 12:37

    Senator Lara’s proposal makes no sense, especially at this time in light of impending national healthcare and insurance revisions. Just how would California disengage from federal health programs and assume responsibilty for massive public healthcare cost increases?

    Realistically, the best way to provide basic care for the undocumented and other uninsured is to shore up the spotty network of free health clinics.

    Reply this comment
  6. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 12:51

    We are not supposed to encourage the undocumented with free medical

    Reply this comment
  7. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 12:55

    Additionally one of the smallest county I know about has a free medical system with a population of 340,00. California has approximately over 300 million in population.

    Reply this comment
  8. Susan
    Susan 6 March, 2017, 14:15

    Please note that an IGS-UC Berkeley poll (link below) showed that 74 percent of Californians strongly oppose sanctuary cities. In addition, the strong opposition ran the gamut of political parties and demographics: 65 percent of Hispanics, 70 percent of independents, 73 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans.

    Reply this comment
    • Lew
      Lew 7 March, 2017, 15:16

      Sanctuary cities will be another Demo Disaster Californians will get stuck paying for. Brown and his group will sign it into law, they know the 9th dist court will uphold it.

      Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 6 March, 2017, 15:18

    The demac-RAT party the party of theives,scoundrels and feinds

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 7 March, 2017, 07:53

      Spurwing: Please…. use spellchecker.
      Also: from my grammar school teacher: ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.

      Reply this comment
  10. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 6 March, 2017, 15:48

    California is really going off the deep end now.

    Single-payer health-care plans. This is what England has. My sister went there to visit a few months ago. She broke her arm. She went to the emergency clinic. The doctor did not set her arm and put a cast on it like you would expect. He put her broken arm in a brace which is what she wore home. When she got home, she had to make an appointment to go in for surgery so her American doctor could reset the bone correctly. It has taken longer to heal than under normal circumstances. In England, people have to get on lists and wait years for necessary surgeries. If you are past a certain age, you will automatically not qualify for the surgery. It is an evil system that puts government employees in the position of making decisions about who lives and who dies.

    Regarding California secession: Republicans are called “the stupid party” and Democrats are called “the evil party” for a reason.

    Carry on, folks, it won’t be long now.

    Reply this comment
  11. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 16:00

    Since none will work for the good of the people and we cannot trust any of them maybe we should initiate a “Parliament”?

    Reply this comment
  12. Hal
    Hal 6 March, 2017, 16:31

    Vermont was given the right to develop a single payer health plan by the federal government in 2011. In December, 2014, Democratic GovernorPeter Shumlin, who ran for governor on his plan for single payer, pulled the plug on the plan when it was determined it would require an 11.5% payroll tax on all businesses, a 9.5% increase in income taxes on all residents, double virtually all other taxes and increase helath care costs.

    So, sure Democrats in California will try it, their crazy stupid already and this fits right in. There are still a couple dozen middle class families in the state……

    Reply this comment
  13. valrab
    valrab 6 March, 2017, 16:47

    It’s not only DEMS it’s GOP as well. I do attack one party when they are both the same.

    Reply this comment
    • Hal
      Hal 6 March, 2017, 20:02

      Not in California “valrab”. We have a Democratic Governor and the Dems control both the Assembly and the Senate, holding more than a 2/3 majority in both. No, its the Dems and they are crazy stupid. We have high taxes, infrastructure that is falling apart while they throw billions at the stupid train and twin tunnels, pension systems for state employees and teachers that are rapidly becoming bankrupt and the highest poverty level in the ocuntry. Yep, Democrat management. Don’t like it, move to Baltimore, Detroit or Chicago. Oh, wait, you will die there with ….Democratic management.

      Reply this comment
  14. JPR11
    JPR11 6 March, 2017, 17:03

    Does anyone know where to find a 10 year trend of state spending on health and what the added cost of this proposal would be? Thx

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 7 March, 2017, 08:17

      JP: California Dept of Finance website has tons of info on cali budgets-both current and past expenditures. Here’s a link:
      BTW: Take a look under historical budgets and you can see how much the budget has skyrocketed under Moonie and the D-Rats since 2009-10.
      The liberal fake news like to portray this A- hole as a notorious spendthrift with the people’s tax dollars.
      In fact, the budget went up nearly 40% under his tyrannical regime from $206 billion to the current $284.5 billion.
      Sure wouldn’t want to see what a ‘big spender’ in the view of the lapdog media would do to the budget.

      Reply this comment
  15. Mike
    Mike 6 March, 2017, 18:10

    I would get a good laugh if secession brought totalitarian rule, which took Lara and removed his balls with a hatchet at a political rally, in front of mooning skinny kids with large bloody zits on their butts.

    Reply this comment
  16. Sammy the Bull
    Sammy the Bull 7 March, 2017, 07:45

    The Road to Hell really is paved with good intentions. Attention, all you loving, kind, sweet liberal californians: here come the venezuelans and the brazilians!
    Around the world, americans are known for the facts that 1) they tend not to travel outside the USA and 2) they know little about the real world and do not care.
    In case you didn’t know, and you probably don’t, Venezuela and Brazil are presently in CRISIS. These two countries alone could easily disgorge 40 million refugees to the USA and not even notice. That’s 40 million human beings needing health care, showing up in YOUR local ER needing EVERYTHING, RIGHT NOW, for FREE….
    Get ready….

    Reply this comment
  17. Terry
    Terry 7 March, 2017, 08:11

    The true agenda of the Communist demorats is complete destruction of the USA and it is starting in CA. This state is so far in debt that is sickening. But of course the communist mainstream media supports Brown and the demorats in this destruction. It is all propaganda just like the old Pravada. If anyone is checking yes I spell it demorats.

    Reply this comment
  18. valrab
    valrab 7 March, 2017, 08:15

    Both parties want to be in power and fight among each other and try to block what the other party is trying to pass so the other party fail. I am sick of it. I think Parliament control would be best for the country.

    Reply this comment
  19. valrab
    valrab 7 March, 2017, 08:42

    Really there is a spellchecker? I don’t see it. I lost my typing due to carpal tunnel syndrome. They should have an edit program.

    Reply this comment
  20. Brain Dead Sheeple
    Brain Dead Sheeple 7 March, 2017, 12:40

    Oh goody! A new gummyment program! What could possibly go wrong?

    So stop yer whining and embrace it!

    After all, gummyment is like a big, soft bunny you can hug and pet.

    And remember, who’s gonna love you more than a politician and bureaucrat?

    Your government masters love you and everything they do is for the children.

    Reply this comment
  21. jules
    jules 7 March, 2017, 14:01

    this is unacceptable.. and absolutely evil……these people do not care for it’s own citizens….They will be bleeding the tax-paying LEGAL citizens to death…..

    Reply this comment
  22. Mike
    Mike 7 March, 2017, 19:46

    Lara bends over and holds his knees for Isis. He bends over and holds his ankles for Cubans, his fav.

    Reply this comment
  23. Rocket 3
    Rocket 3 7 March, 2017, 22:45

    In January, my 78 year old mom saw her healthcare costs skyrocket by $250 per month. Of course, they take it out of her Social Security, money she put in all her life! When she called Kaiser, they said that her insurance had not increased a dime and to check with SS. She called SS and they told her that the extra $250 per month that they were taking was to pay for the uninsured in this Republik of Kommiefornia!!! This is what’s wrong with Kommiefornia!!! Thank God President Trump is going to fix this and Make America Great Again!!! I only pray for new leadership here in CA!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  24. SAM
    SAM 9 March, 2017, 01:36

    I can barely paid for mybnowntrebled ormeium under covered California (for what is essentially catastrophic care only). This year we taxpayers are subsid No illegal immigrant kids. Now we taxpayers are supposed to subsidize all illegal immigrants? This is unfair. They don’t pay income taxes so why should they get civereage? Let them get a state tax I’d and ôta I think the system, then we can talk. But until then, they shouldn’t ge the same benefits as citizens and legal residents. It’s discriminatory against the rest of us.

    Reply this comment

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