The New York Times
Los Angeles, California January 8, 2006
California Plan for Health Care Would Cover All
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday proposed extending health care coverage to all of California’s 36 million residents as part of a sweeping package of changes to the state’s huge, troubled health care system.”
Several of my readers and I debated the Medicare and Medicaid federal health care programs. I maintain that the plans, especially Medicare, were poorly planned when begun in 1965 as part of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society War on Poverty. Several of my readers pointed out the programs of other countries which they felt were successful. And I agreed that they were apparently accepted in their respective countries but would not be acceptable to Americans.
Three states have already initiated universal health care plans: Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. All are extremely high tax states, and all in my opinion are really too small to be good test cases for a federal program to pattern itself after. California on the other hand is large enough and with the diverse population to present itself as a test case. This should be so interesting!
Already the battles have begun with everyone and certainly every group involved weighting in with their cries of , “Hey! Not me! Sure I want full medical coverage for myself and my family BUT I DON”T WANT TO HAVE TO PAY FOR ANY OF IT!” “Make those rich guys pay for it! Make the bloated corporations pay for it! Get the federal government and the tax payers in the rest of the country to pay for our health care!”
And the biggest gripe you will hear is, “Why are the damned illegal aliens allowed to be on the plan? (These same illegal aliens who pick the California fruits and vegetables and without whom the state wouldn’t have this highly profitable and large part of it’s economy. The taxes from this segment of the economy will of course provide the big bucks needed for the program, but why should those who make it possible be covered by a universal medical plan.)
Anyhow, we all feel more has to be done about health care in this country and more has to be done to get the double digit medical inflation stopped, or at least slowed down a bit, so watching California solve the problems will certainly help the federal government either to forge a new program for all of us, or make changes to the programs we now have.
By the way, do make sure to also read the article on the federal government’s announcement that health care spending in 2005 showed the slowest growth in six years. (Health section)