On what do I base the prediction in the title of this post? On this story:
California’s Assembly on Monday approved Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan for universal health insurance, as overhauling health care grows as a prominent issue in the 2008 presidential election.
The compromise legislation, which passed by a vote of 46 to 31, was hammered out by the Republican governor and Fabian Nunez, speaker of California’s Democrat-led Assembly.
While a handful of other states have revamped their systems, California’s plan for its 36 million people is seen as a potential model for a national reform.
The $14 billion plan must also win approval from the state Senate and voters even as the most populous U.S. state faces an expected $14 billion gap in its budget.
Under the plan, insurers could not deny coverage regardless of age or medical history and must spend at least 85 cents of every premium dollar on patient care.
Everyone in California would be required to buy health insurance, which would be more affordable for the low-income individuals who are among the state’s 6.5 million uninsured.
The bill would provide funding for community clinics in a bid to save money and ease stress on overcrowded emergency rooms, which provide the most expensive health care and act as a safety net for the uninsured.
Revenue to pay for the new plan would come from taxes on hospitals, cigarettes and employers who do not provide health insurance. (Emphasis mine.)
California is already a hellish business environment for small businesses. Now, it will be worse.
You also appreciate the nice little circular logic that shifts the costs from insurance to hospitals, that will in turn shift the cost back to insurance, with all the costs inevitably ending up on the backs of the small employers who couldn’t afford to provide health insurance in the first place. This isn’t affordable health care. It’s health care aimed at destroying innovation, initiative and all the other virtues one associates with small business.