State-Run Health Care Would Not Work, Assembly Member Writes in Opinion Piece
"There is no question" that California's health care system "is a mess" -- with insurance rates increasing, reimbursements for providers decreasing, choices for patients diminishing and emergency rooms being overloaded with the uninsured -- but recent attempts by the state and its "sorry record of handling programs and crises" should be "laughed out of the Capitol," Assembly member Ray Haynes (R-Murrieta) writes in an Orange County Register opinion piece. According to Haynes, "one could easily argue that many of our problems in health care are a direct result of government interference and mandates" and that each "'fix' that the state has proposed over the last decade has served primarily to drive up costs, reduce choices, and increase liability for doctors and health facilities that don't perfectly comply with the new mandates." As a result, trial lawyers have been the "only group to truly benefit from state health care meddling," Haynes writes. Haynes contends that a bill (SB 2) that would require employers in the state to provide health insurance for employees or pay into a state fund that would purchase health insurance for workers "does absolutely nothing to deal" with the cost of health insurance, which he maintains is the principal reason some employers do not offer it. Haynes continues that a bill (SB 921) that would create a state health care system is "even crazier" and an "extremely bad idea" because it would cost the state as much as $100 billion, make doctors and nurses civil servants and make California a "health care welfare magnet" to the rest of the country. "When you screw up the budget, you raise taxes. When you screw up the electrical system, lights go out. ... Maybe the state doesn't realize that when you screw up health care, people die," Haynes concludes (Haynes, Orange County Register, 6/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.